Greece’s hopes that tourists would return after a disastrous 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic saw international traffic almost halted and people reluctant to travel are being dashed again so far, with signs visitors not planning to come.
Pre-bookings are dismal so far although the government, which saw the Coronavirus jump after opening to tourists in July last year, hopes for a pickup in May after vaccines start reaching more people around the world.
Greek hotel and resort operators will be duking it out for customers too although some didn’t make it during two lockdowns in 2020, continued into this year and with people afraid of coming into rooms after others have used them, despite industry pledges of strict sanitary measures.
Market analysts and sector executives in Greece told Kathimerini that pre-bookings are far less than expected as of now, especially compared to the same period in 2020 before the pandemic hit hard and most people canceled plans.
Of special worry to Greece is the United Kingdom, which is a big market for travelers to Greece but has been rocked by a surge and a variant of the virus which has brought worry it could linger there.
The benchmark date for now is May 2, Orthodox Easter, later than most years, but with the still big unknown factor whether Americans, locked out last year, can come this year, especially the big Diaspora, said Naftemporiki.