Travel Plans Fall-off Worries Greece Over Tourism Season

(Photo by IconPress/Christos Doudoumis, FILE)

Enjoying a record run of several years of tourism, a warning by the Thomas Cook agency that travel plans are lessening has Greeek officials concerned that there could be a drop in visitors and the revenues they bring, which had helped bring a slow economic recovery.

EasyJet also said it’s seeing lesser demand this year, adding to the worries that despite being a haven for Hollywood celebrities and the super-wealthy, adding to new luxury resorts being built, that Greece could be affected this year.

The British-based Thomas Cook is one of the world’s largest travel agencies and its estimation came with the United Kingdom due to leave the European Union in October, prospects which have already made many residents there reconsider where they will travel for the summer.

Major agencies, facing fierce competition from their hotel bookings from short-term rental sites such as Airbnb and Booking.com are turning their attention to that sector as well and there are also structural problems in the tour operators market said Kathimerini.

Thomas Cook’s stock fell 90 percent in value last year in the face of the changing methods people use to travel, doing their own bookings online, and setting back tour packages, with analysts expecting that hotels that travel agencies work with wanting faster payments.

In Greece Thomas Cook cooperates with a network of 47 hotels and owns four but the Greek newspaper said that the agency expects to book fewer visitors this year despite the country’s growing allure.

The group said it’s optimistic about Greece, despite an overall warning about a profit decline for the second half of 2019 and has just acquired a hotel on Kos and said it’s mulling more purchases.

EasyJet, based in London and owned by Greek-Cypriot businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou, announced pre-tax losses of 313 million euros ($349.54 million) for the period October, 2018-March, 2019, the lowest period for tourism.

The company said it also expects fewer profits per seat sold this year “as consumers are discouraged from the uncertainty regarding Brexit and the financial weakness in Europe,” referring to the UK’s departure from the EU this year.