Flight Bookings to Greece Experience Dropoff Amid Debt Crisis
Photo courtesy of Greek National Tourism Organization
Flight bookings to Greece have declined dramatically in the wake of the country's ongoing debt crisis, according to ForwardKeys, a company that specializes in predicting future travel patterns by analyzing booking data.
The travel data intelligence company, which analyzes as many as 14 million booking transactions a day, revealed troubling figures on Friday that show flight bookings to Greece from June 28 through July 7 are down 45 percent compared to the same period last year.
Bookings from the U.S. were down 56 percent over that period. The drop-off was similar in Britain (51 percent), Italy (51 percent) and Germany (49 percent).
Meanwhile, bookings from France were down 23 percent over that same period, per ForwardKeys.
"What we are seeing is a dramatic drop in late bookings, particularly from Germany," said ForwardKeys co-founder and CEO Olivier Jager in a statement. "The French are also staying away but to a lesser extent. This is significant because Greece is a favourite holiday destination for both the Germans and the French, and at this point Greece needs tourism more than ever."
"Interestingly, the Chinese are still continuing to make bookings because, anecdotally at least, they perceive the cash crisis as only affecting Greeks," Jager added.
While Jager noted that Greece's tourism industry can take solace in the fact that most leisure travel has already been booked, the data undoubtedly raises long-term concerns.
"What is worrying is that the upward growth that the country was seeing has now been sharply reversed," he said.
Currently, arrivals to Greece remain up by more than seven percent compared to 2014 and tourism has remained relatively unaffected.
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