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Friday, July 10, 2015

Flight bookings hit by latest Greek crisis

Flight bookings to Greece have fallen sharply because of the latest developments in the country's financial crisis.

New figures from ForwardKeys, which monitors future travel patterns by analysing 14 million reservation transactions each day, show bookings are down 45% for the same period last year (28 June to 7 July).

The first big dip in bookings was recorded on Sunday 28 June - the day of the banks closure announcement - and continued to drop away in the following week.    


Olivier Jager, Co-founder and CEO, ForwardKeys, said: "What we are seeing is a dramatic drop in late bookings, particularly from Germany. The French are also staying away but to a lesser extent. This is significant because Greece is a favourite holiday destination for both the Germans and the French, and at this point Greece needs tourism more than ever.

"Interestingly, the Chinese are still continuing to make bookings because, anecdotally at least, they perceive the cash crisis as only affecting Greeks."

The fall in German bookings for the period was 49%. Bookings from the United States were down 56%, Britain 51%, Italy 51% and France 23%.

Despite the financial crisis, so far this year arrivals to Greece are still up 7.6% on the previous year. Many people book their flights about three months ahead of travel.  But the latest ForwardKeys analysis shows that travellers are starting to take fright at Greece's deteriorating predicament.

Olivier Jager said: "The majority of leisure travel has already been booked, which is somewhat reassuring for the Greek tourism industry.

"But what is worrying is that the upward growth that the country was seeing has now been sharply reversed."

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