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Bookings to Kos May Move on 2018 Levels

Photo source: Hoteliers Association of Kos

Photo source: Hoteliers Association of Kos

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.

Hoteliers Association of Kos President Konstantina Svynou.

Hoteliers Association of Kos President Konstantina Svynou.

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

Photo source: Hoteliers Association of Kos

Photo source: Hoteliers Association of Kos

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.

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About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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