COVID Pandemic Leaves Greece’s Winter Resorts in the Cold

ATHENS – Greece’s hopes for year-round tourism and luring visitors during the winter have been dashed by the resurging COVID-19 pandemic spread by the unvaccinated, with winter resorts areas seeing a big drop in bookings.

Figures from AirDNA cited by Kathimerini indicated that the numbers of reservations for December were up to 80 percent fewer than the record-breaking tourist year of 2019, after more arrivals than expected during the summer.

The data from the company, which monitors the short-term rental market, showed the hardest hit area was the popular village of Trikala in Corinthia, followed by those in Mount Pilio, for Arachova on Parnassos dear Delphi, then Kalavryta and for Karpenisi, bookings down 40-61 percent.

Supply is also reduced, with the data showing that there are 41 percent fewer winter homes listed in Trikala Corinthias, 37 percent fewer in Arachova, 24 percent in Karpenisi, 23 percent in Kalavryta and 18 percent in Pilio.

While the summer and autumn months have been the biggest season for tourism in Greece, there’s been a push to offer other attractions to keep foreign travelers coming, including the winter resorts, some offering skiiing.

Despite the drop in demand, prices haven’t fallen accordingly because of the reduced supply of rooms as some hoteliers aren’t opening and many of the available units are in the luxury range, the paper said.

“These are mainly professionals, either from the tourism sector or property management companies, offering high-quality assets, which is reflected on rates too,” the report noted.

In Arachova near Delphi, the average rate stands at 231 euros ($261) per night for December, only 8 percent less than 2019, and the January 2022 rate is 249 euros ($281) which is 20 percent higher than two years earlier.

The higher rates are evident at other resort areas apparently counting on richer, if fewer, tourists to make up the difference although it wasn’t said what it would mean for domestic tourism with lower-income Greeks locked out.



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