The president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, expects last minute bookings to Greece to be affected from the United Kingdom’s vote to leave the European Union.
Speaking to a Greek television station over the weekend, Mr Andreadis said that over 2.5 million British tourists had visited Greece last year, leaving some two billion euros to the country in revenue.
“Given that the global and European economy is very numb right now, it is certain that the rate of last minute bookings will drop”, Mr Andreadis said and recommended for tourism professionals to remain calm.
The UK is the second strongest visitor market for Greek tourism after Germany.
According to recent data, during the January-April period, the arrivals of British tourists to Greece increased by nine percent, exceeding 206,000. During the first four months of the year, British tourists spent over 105 million euros while on holiday in Greece.
According to Greek daily Kathimerini, the number of bookings from the UK market for holiday in Greece this year is currently behind by some 500,000 in order reach last year’s result in the level of arrivals from Britain. Now with the fall in value of the pound and the extra cost for British tourists it is uncertain if the remaining bookings will be covered.
A weaker pound impacts spending power
As the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) has pointed out, following the outcome of the UK referendum, of immediate concern is the impact that a period of uncertainty will have on the strength of the Pound versus other currencies.
A weaker Pound has a direct impact on spending power overseas, making the cost of holidaying or visiting abroad more expensive, as well as adding costs for UK businesses to buy abroad.
According to ABTA, over 29 million foreign holidays each year are made by UK holidaymakers to EU countries, equating to 76 percent of all holidays taken. Additionally, 68 percent of all business trips from the UK are to EU countries (4.6 million business visits).
There are currently many EU regulations that have been designed to benefit holidaymakers and business travellers. Although these regulations will not change immediately, Brexit is expected to have a significant impact in the future. Current regulations include: financial protection for package holidays, compensation for flight delays, access to free health cover through the European Health Insurance Card, caps on mobile phone charges and “open skies” across the EU, resulting in more routes, more airlines, and lower fares
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