Last updated: 11:30 AM ET, Tue July 21 2015

Travel To Greece Up, or Down, Depending On Who You Believe

Destination & Tourism | Rich Thomaselli | July 21, 2015

Travel To Greece Up, or Down, Depending On Who You Believe

The economic crisis in Greece is having a negative effect on travel to the country.

Or not.

Depending on who you believe, travel to Greece is either up or down as the country struggles to improve its economic condition.

ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analyzing 14 million reservation transactions each day, says bookings to Greece from the United States and Germany – both of which provide big marketshare visitors – continues to fall. Overall bookings slumped 44 percent in the first two weeks of July, and then bounced back slightly to being down 35 percent in the third week when compared with the same period last year.

The first big dip in bookings was recorded on Sunday June 28 – the day of the banks closure announcement.

Olivier Jager, co-founder and CEO of ForwardKeys, said, “Our data shows that Germany and the USA continue to lead the decline in bookings to Greece, and the over 40 percent fall is particularly worrying because of their high market share. What is encouraging is that our analysis shows in the third week of July, overall bookings saw some recovery, moving from -44 percent to -35 percent.”

But Jager did add that “The majority of leisure travel has already been booked, which is somewhat reassuring for the Greek tourism industry. But what is deeply worrying for the Greeks is that the promising high growth has been driven away by the crisis.”

But the Brits beg to differ.

The Daily Mail reported that United Kingdom travel association ABTA, which represents travel agents and tour operators all over the world, says that bookings to Greece are up by two per cent from last year.

Package holiday bookings made in advance, which make up 70 per cent of bookings to Greece, will remain in place, but a spokesperson for travel company Thomas Cook told the paper, “'With Greece as popular as ever in 2015, Thomas Cook customers are continuing to enjoy their holidays and are experiencing business as usual across our wide range of hotels and resorts.”

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