Zakynthos opens for tourists from June “Heavy winter” in bookings despite the positive messages about the vaccine
Tour operators defer contract payments
May will be a lost month
It will be a year of last minute bookings
The start of coronavirus vaccinations throughout Greece may have brought optimism to the tourist world in view of the summer of 2021, but for now there are no substantial results, as bookings remain “frozen” and some tour operators are shifting their schedules. from June onwards as it is estimated that the covid-19 pandemic will not be contained. Their views and assessments on tourism and what is known so far for this summer were expressed in our newspaper by tourist organizations. “What we are seeing is that the booking rate is low. We see it moving at very low levels. The good thing is that the bookings are moving, but in small percentages. The other is that tour operators defer payment of guarantee / commitment contracts for the second quarter. We also see that many tour operators will not operate in May and this month will be lost, “said Christina Tetradis, Vice President of the Hotel Chamber and President of the Laganas Hoteliers Association.
For his part, the president of the Zakynthos Hoteliers Association, George Margaris, added that May will be a lost month, with tourism starting at -30% compared to 2019 and that it had rolled for our island since “we see that May will be a lost month. We start with at least -30% from 2019. From 2020 it could not be worse. We hope that the traffic will be doubled, compared to last year, to say that the damage is reduced in some way “. Mr. Margaris noted that some airlines will transfer their flights, while he also said about the stagnation that prevails for the time being, “In general, some airlines will transfer their flights later. They will go in late May or early June. There is no mobility. They see how the pandemic will develop and there is a complete stagnation at the moment. This is because those who had made advances that were not refunded, use them until the end of the season in 2021. Reservations are also frozen. There is no particular mobility, especially after the situation in Great Britain and the pandemic is on the rise, it is logical that there are no reservations and holidays are closed. We believe that any bookings will start from March, even if the pandemic in Great Britain has fallen into a recession “.
“We do not know how the vaccination will go ” The image for the summer of 2021 is immovable, since the reservations remain “frozen”, while those that have been made are essentially from last year for visitors who did not come due to the coronavirus pandemic. Travel agent Giannis Filippopolitis noted that no one knows what will happen until a large part of the European population is vaccinated, as it will play an important role in the bookings that will be made. “Nothing has changed yet. Reservations are frozen and there are delays with vaccination. We have not seen any significant improvement. Either they are frozen, or they are few and it is questionable, because the customer can cancel if he wants. Not everyone knows what will happen and what transnational agreements exist. It will be a difficult season and until the end of March we will not have substantial indications “. Ms. Tetradi pointed out that no one knows when there will be a substantial result from the vaccinations that are done and they are waiting to see when a large part of the population will be vaccinated, so that there is greater security for those who want to travel. “We do not know how fast the vaccinations will go. We do not know what the third wave will be like. We do not know what will happen with vaccination certificates or negative coronavirus tests. We also have to face a global recession in Greece and in the countries of our customers “. The Vice President of the Hotel Chamber added that people will want to travel as long as everything goes well, since travel is something they have missed due to the pandemic and they will want more to go to a holiday destination. He also pointed out what is happening with the airlines. “People going out after a long time if everything goes well, they will want to travel. Travel will be their primary need and will not be just a luxury. Another important issue is what will happen to the airlines. We see that many airlines are facing more serious problems and those that will remain will have more expensive fares. Another element is that the companies both abroad and in Greece, try to make direct flights to Regional Airports. That’s very important. ”
A Safe destination Greece and Zakynthos
” Ms. Tetradi spoke about a safe destination in terms of Greece and Zakynthos since the health protocols were observed 100%. In fact, the Vice President of the hotel association stressed that, among other things, tourism in Zakynthos should be taken into account and what will happen with Brexit and whether tourists from the United Kingdom will come regularly. “Greece has been distinguished as a safe destination with very good management of health protocols last year and we know that the image of safety is an important legacy and this brings our country at high level. At the same time we have Brexit, which is a minor problem with the pandemic, but we do not know how the price of the pound with the euro will evolve, because for Zakynthos the British visitors are the main market. With all the data, we believe that we will move to 40-50% of 2019 both in terms of revenue and in terms of tourist arrivals “.
For his part, Mr. Filippopolitis noted that officially only one airline from Finland has transferred its flights from May to June regarding Zakynthos, while he stressed that it will definitely be a year of last minute bookings. “It will be a year of last minute bookings and anyway until the end of March we will see how many flights will be left. Everyone will fly or there will be traffic jams. More time will be lost if the vaccinations have not progressed. Vaccinations are faster in England than in Europe. We are following Europe and there are central agreements and we do not know what will happen next “.
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