The revenue of hotels on Kos has dropped by seven million euros this year due to the massive influx of refugees and migrants to the island, according to the island’s hoteliers association.
Kos is one of the Greek islands that are currently being used as a gateway to mainland Greece by thousands of refugees and migrants.
In a letter sent this week to interim Finance Minister Giorgos Houliarakis and interim Tourism Minister Nikos Christodoulakis, the Kos Hoteliers Association stressed that already the island has seen some 120,000 booking cancellations by tour operators and at least 51,000 cancellations by independent travelers. Meanwhile, bookings for next season are also seeing cancellations.
The association informed the minister that many hotels will close for the season between one and three weeks earlier than originally planned.
“In its history of tourism, the island is facing a first-time number of cancellations”, the association said and added that such a hike in booking cancellations had not been recorded since data started being collected in 1980.
The association also added that five flights from Israel and three from Italy that were scheduled to arrive on Kos had been cancelled for “safety reasons”.
The hoteliers requested for the two ministers to help the island’s tourism by granting tax relief measures that include allowing the island to maintain its special tax status (30 percent discount on VAT rates for all products and services) until 2017. The association also requested for the island’s hoteliers to be exempt this year from the Single Property Tax (ENFIA) payment.