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Fewer Germans are planning trips to Greece as the Mediterranean country holds emergency negotiations to avoid a financial collapse.
Travel bookings to Greece from Germany plunged 39 percent in the week through July 5 from a year ago, according to Amadeus IT Holding SA, a Madrid-based company that processes flight reservations for airlines. In the week through June 28, they fell 25 percent, the company said. The DPA news service reported the statistics earlier, and Amadeus confirmed them.
The slump means Greece is missing out on much-needed tourism revenue from its single largest source market because some Germans no longer feel welcome in the country or want to avoid the risk of having their summer vacation spoiled by economic turmoil. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has become a hated figure for some Greeks who blame her for aggravating the country’s economic situation by pushing for austerity measures.
TUI AG, Europe’s largest tour operator, said bookings to Greece in the past two weeks declined by a single-digit percentage. Year to date, the number of trips to the country were still slightly higher than last year, the Hanover, Germany- based company said.
Weekly data has limited meaning, and the bigger declines reported by Amadeus may stem from a higher proportion of custom tours booked through that system, while TUI mainly sells package tours booked well in advance, said Michael Roell, a spokesman for TUI.
TUI yesterday sought to calm clients in a memo, saying cash, food and supplies were still widely available in Greece. The company also said Friday it sold its stake in its Greek hotel joint venture Grecotel to the family owner, adding the transaction was unrelated to the current situation in the country.
The Amadeus data contains trips booked through travel agents or online in which the passenger is departing from Germany and destined for Greece, Amadeus said. Major sports events or aggressive advertising by a destination country can influence customer booking patterns, the service provider said.
This article was written by Richard Weiss from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.