Large Tour Operators are predicting a notable rise in inbound tourism to Greece, contradicting bleak forecasts of a slump the number of foreign visitors to the country due to the refugee crisis and a rise in costs of products and services in the industry after the passing of the recent omnibus bill in Greek parliament.
Based on its bookings data, Thomas Cook travel agent predicts a slight rise in its bookings to Greece compared to last year, while the country is listed as its third tourist destination.
Meanwhile, TUI Travel, one of the largest tour package operators in the world, said Greece had displaced Turkey from 2nd spot as the most popular destination, with Spain remaining at the top of the list. TUI spokesperson told German media outlet DW that bookings to Greece, and especially the Greek islands were at a satisfactory level.
Alltours also confirmed the optimistic outlook on Greek tourism pointing out to DW that bookings to Greece had reached double digits over the past 3 years, expressing the hope that this year’s numbers would be higher than last year. According to the Altours representative, Stafan Suska, Crete and Rhodes remained on the top of their clients’ preferences. ‘Demand for the two islands has gone through the roof since we published our catalogue’, he said. ‘We are very satisfied with Greece’, said Suska.
The ongoing terrorist attacks across Turkey and the political turmoil has turned many German tourists to choose Greece for their holidays, despite the negative media coverage of the refugee crisis and the hike in VAT on Greek islands, which German tour operators see as negligible on the purchasing power of their clients.