Germany’s leading daily business paper Handelsblatt appears to be wondering whether Greece’s unprecedented success in tourism will continue into the new year comparing it with the doomed flight of mythical Icarus.
Under the title “Travel Agents Betting Massively on Greece, but Still a Threat of Falling Looms”, Handelsblatt goes on to note that following the soaring demand last year for Greek destinations, German tourism groups boosted activity “with what now appears to be great risk”, the paper says, citing among others the recovery of rival markets such as Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey, as well as an increase in prices.
According to Handelsblatt, German travel agencies were rubbing their hands after the successful 2018 summer, as Greece recovered significantly, evolving into the second favorite summer destination after Spain.
“However,” the paper adds, “this ‘high flight’ may soon end like the fall of Greek hero Icarus, who, according to myth, was so dazzled he came too close to the sun and dropped to his death. At present, the rise of Greek tourism seems to be as steady as the waxed wings of antiquity’s pilot [Icarus].”
Indicatively, according to Handelsblatt, German tourism interests such as Alltours have invested in 731 accommodation facilities compared to 651 a year ago and FTI Touristik increased its number of flights to Greece in the next season. As of April, flights out of seven German airports will serve Corfu, and a new destination, Kefalonia, was added to its flight program.
However, the report adds, Greek tour operators are not certain major investments will pay off.
On the other hand, despite German tourists’ reluctance to book in September, leading to an annual decrease from 25 percent to 20 percent, tour operators and insiders are underlining that it’s too early to judge, as it’s still the beginning go the booking season.
The report concludes that although Greece is already pushing lesser-known destinations such as Karpathos in view of overtourism to favorite islands like Santorini and Mykonos, “it is unsure whether this will be enough to ensure continued growing tourist performance. Instead, for the new year, Greece appears to be copying the mistakes of Spain”.
The paper refers to the Alltours catalogue, where Greece – it says – is more expensive by 2.5 percent, compared to 1.5 percent by other destinations.