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Greece’s Off-season Hotel Bookings Affected By Coronavirus Outbreak

Hotel bookings in Greece these days are seeing a decrease due to concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, according to Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios.

Speaking to Greek radio station Thema 104,6, Tasios said that right now attracting visitors during the off season in Greece is what has been affected the most.

“Mainly year-round tourism has been hit at the moment. For example, Athens right now is presenting a 40-50 percent decline (in bookings) until April, not only because of the fear of travelers that are canceling individually, but also because the destination largely depends on conferences and major events that are being postponed or canceled,” the federation’s president stressed.

Tasios also mentioned the problem that Ilia in Western Greece is facing, as the Tokyo 2020 Olympics torch lighting ceremony in Ancient Olympia will be held without spectators after the Hellenic Olympic Committee introduced tighter measures due to the spreading of the coronavirus.

Referring to Greece’s seasonal hotels, he noted that bookings were on a satisfactory course until February. “But these days there has been a delay – fortunately no cancellations – and May may end up being a problematic month for tourism,” he said.

Coronavirus: An unprecedented challenge

Modern luxury hotel reception counter desk with bell

“This is an unprecedented challenge for us professionals on how to handle certain situations,” Tasios said, underlining that health comes first and that businesses should be protected as a whole.

“From one point and on, everying is affected by tourism,” he said, referring to other sectors of the economy including trade, industry, construction, etc..

The federation’s president said that measures, such as suspending certain payments to the State, were vital at the moment in order for businesses not to close and for people not to lose their jobs.

“Protecting jobs for us is the number one priority,” Tasios said, adding that the situation will be reassessed in the next few months.

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