Tourism professionals of Kos, one of the most popular Greek destinations of the Dodecanese for foreign travelers, returned from the recent ITB Berlin exhibition in Germany with an unclear picture regarding the island’s bookings for the 2019 season.
“This is one of the few times that no one has a clear picture after an ITB exhibition, especially for the German market,” the president of the Hoteliers Association of Kos, Konstantina Svynou, told GTP Headlines.
Like other Greek professionals during the ITB Berlin expo, Svynou as well reported a slight lag in early bookings to Greece compared to the same period last year.
“What we know at the moment is that the majority of German holidaymakers appear reluctant to make reservations for their holidays, which means that last minute bookings will judge the outcome of the year,” Svynou said.
“This is something expected, as during the last two years, and especially in 2018, we had a more than satisfactory increase… On the other hand, our competitor destinations are recovering,” she added.
Early bookings to Kos at the moment are down 7 to 9 percent, compared to the same period last year.
Svynou said she expects early bookings to the island to eventually pick up and for the 2019 season to proceed and close on the same levels as last year. If not, she foresees a very small drop in bookings of 3 to 5 percent.
“Given that Kos had two consecutive tourism seasons with double digit increases, we will be happy with these figures,” she told GTP Headlines.
Kos needs tourism strategy and infrastructure
Moreover, Svynou pointed out that while Kos is a strong tourism destination, its dynamic tourist product remains untapped as the island lacks strategic tourism planning.
“If we want to target even more arrivals then we must first invest in infrastructure,” she underlined.
When asked if she was concerned on the impact to tourism due to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU on March 29, Svynou said that Brexit has in fact caused particular concerns.
“We are hoping for a smooth process, although we find that this issue does not only negatively affect the British market but also Germany’s market,” she said.