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Greece Refugee Crisis Warding Off German Travelers

germany_greece flagsThe ongoing refugee crisis in the Aegean, and Greece’s economic instability are taking a toll on bookings by German holidaymakers, according to figures released by tourism group DER Touristik during its annual meeting held in Athens on Tuesday.

Rolf-Dieter Maltzahn, the group’s CEO, told Greek daily Kathimerini that the number of German market bookings had dropped by 25 percent compared to the same period last year, and made special mention of Kos and Rhodes, both islands being directly affected by the refugee influx.

The group, which is now aiming to achieve last year’s bookings, is eager to see an annual increase of 10 to 20 percent for Greece in the coming years.

Currently cooperating with 1,500 Greek hotels, DER Touristik is one of Europe’s largest tourism groups operating primarily in German-speaking markets.

Besides the negative publicity, other concerns putting a hamper on Germans’ desire to visit Greece are the capital controls.

DER Touristik figures reveal a significant drop in the number of reservations for November and December 2015, with data for January remaining almost the same as last year. Other markets demonstrating a reluctance to travel to Greece include Poland and Hungary.

In the meantime, Mr Maltzahn told more than 150 hoteliers and tourism professionals attending Tuesday’s event that DER Touristik is expressing interest in working together with the Greek state to further promote the country in the German market.

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