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Greek Hoteliers Brace for Another ‘Cold’ Covid Winter

Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios.

Greek hoteliers are bracing themselves for a second pandemic winter with low occupancy numbers, the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation said on Monday.

The federation’s president, Grigoris Tasios, said the current available data from all hotel associations in Greece is “disappointing” with regard to December holiday season bookings at city hotels in Athens, Thessaloniki and other mainland destinations.

“Average occupancy in mountainous and semi-mountainous areas nationwide – although we have already entered December – does not even exceed 50 to 60 percent, with the exception of some more popular destinations and theme park areas that record a slightly higher visitor numbers,” Tasios said, adding that the “second pandemic winter” continues to remain “cold” with hoteliers hoping that last minute bookings will “warm up” the market.

The federation’s president pointed out that bookings for the holiday season, which at the moment are not as expected, will clearly not be enough to cover a 120-day winter that is followed by huge losses of the 18 pandemic months.

“Especially when the increased energy costs and the purchase of raw materials further burden the operation of enterprises that are struggling to get out of prolonged inactivity,” Tasios said.

He also rejected press reports that refer to overly optimistic forecasts in view of the Christmas holiday.

“Unfortunately, these have nothing to do with the reality that Greek hoteliers are facing every day,” he said.

Tasios added that tourist traffic is recorded based on the data of “legally licensed enterprises”, which also support employment, public revenues and insurance funds.

“The absolute mess that prevails in the market of short-term rentals and illegal accommodation distorts the actual picture and creates illusions of tourism recovery,” he said.

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