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Greek Tourist Traffic for Orthodox Easter Down, Say Hoteliers

Easter on Santorini © Maria Theofanopoulou

Easter on Santorini © Maria Theofanopoulou

Greek hoteliers are betting on last-minute bookings to boost Easter season business as pre-reservations are lagging behind compared to last year, according to the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation.

Easter on Santorini © Maria Theofanopoulou

© Maria Theofanopoulou

Greek hospitality professionals are expecting tourism traffic to pick up pace in the coming week in the run-up to Orthodox Easter mainly by domestic travelers.

At the same time, fewer hotels at summer destinations have opened for business this year due to the early celebration of Orthodox Easter on April 8. Hotel owners are also citing the constantly chaining weather conditions as well as the fact that airlines will be launching their summer flight schedules at the end of April.

Increased traffic is forecast for Athens, Mykonos and Santorini, with destinations in Northern Greece – Pieria, Kavala and Halkidiki – expecting a growing number of visitors from Balkan countries while Greek holidaymakers are mainly opting for mainland destinations.

Easter Pot smashing, Corfu Island.

Traditional Orthodox Easter destinations such as Corfu, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and the Peloponnese, are also seeing declining figures this year. In the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Easter season traffic is down compared to last year.

According to the country’s hoteliers’ associations, a number of hotels have decided to remain closed for Easter to limit their operating costs as there appears to be a decline in the number of pre-bookings compared to a year ago.

In the meantime, Greeks have also restricted their average stay to two nights – Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday – with rates starting at 60 euros per night plus breakfast.

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