Hoteliers react amid Greek woes

Hoteliers react amid Greek woes
By admin

Sales to Greece have collapsed amid the Eurozone crisis with Cox and Kings chief executive Steve Reynolds describing prices as the lowest he has seen as desperate hoteliers try to halt the slide.

Australians have avoided Athens in their droves as political and financial instability have led to demonstrations and outbreaks of violence. The reluctance to travel to the capital has had a knock on effect across the country, with travel to the Greek islands affected.

“It’s a fair description,” Reynolds said when asked if Greece sales gone through the floor.

Icon Holidays managing director Simon Hills said business had been “very disappointing” with the wholesaler now packaging Greek Island hopping tours via Istanbul, a strategy that is early in the making but already paying off.

“People just don’t want to go to Athens, but including a three day stay in Istanbul together with the Greek Islands is working well,” Hills said. “It’s a case of being more creative with your product.”

Turkey in general was going “gangbusters”, Hills added, partly a result of the Greece decline.

Reynolds said rates to the Greek islands are cheaper than ever as suppliers look internationally to offset the fall in Greek domestic traffic.

Tempo Holidays is drawing up a nine night Mykonos and Santorini island hopping trip for $999 per person including ferries, transfers and accommodation, valid during July, August and September.

“That is extraordinary value,” Reynolds said, adding that rates were the lowest he had seen. “One of the biggest challenges the Greek islands have is that the domestic market is not travelling. Hoteliers are now incentivising that last minute discretionary spend to fill capacity. People with any kind of appetite to visit the Greek Island should be all over that offer. It puts the product into a whole different price point and makes it accessible.”

Rates are unlikely to dip further, Reynolds said. “I’m not sure they can go much lower and remain viable. It’s the result of a perfect storm of events for consumers, with the strong Australian dollar and soft domestic and short haul demand. Once that recovers rates will rise.”

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