Despite the economic difficulties, the volatility of the ruble and strong competition with Turkey, in the segment of organized tourism Greece, in general, showed a result closed to the last year. The preferences of tourists have changed in comparison with the last year. Early booking of resorts in Greece for the summer of 2019 is already started by some players.
In the summer season of 2018, the picture of sales in Greece, as well as in other beach abroad areas, had the same scenario. At first, the market was enthusiastic about successful early booking. Thus, according to the observations of ANEX Tour experts, the share of early booking in Greece in the total volume of summer sales was approximately 25%. At the stage of early booking tours were booked on average 4.5 months before the date of travel.
This was followed by a slowdown in demand in spring due to fluctuations of ruble, World Cup 2018 and traditionally high prices at the peak of the season.
“The activity of tourists, which was noted at the stage of early booking, slowed down already in spring. So, many operators have adjusted their flight programs during the season, focusing on current demand,” said George Masmanidis, the general director of Mouzenidis Travel Greece tour operator.
The revival of sales was recorded only in autumn period due to the seasonal decline in prices and a slight strengthening of the ruble exchange rate.
Despite these “swings” and a generally difficult season, many players had the demand comparable to last year’s volumes. Some companies, such as Intourist and TUI Russia, even increased their volumes. These tour operators had an increased demand, plus 15 and 150% respectively. In Intourist, 2018 was the first full season in Corfu, the main growth occurred in the autumn season. TUI Russia this season also added resorts of mainland Greece to the traditional tours to Greek islands.
Following the results of Coral Travel tour operator, by the end of the summer season Greece became the third in volume of sales, but showed a 8% drop against last summer.
According to Lilia Parfenova, the sales director of Moscow region of PEGAS Touristik tour operator, “all the planned indicators were fully met, and the demand was within the expected range”. PEGAS Touristik actively sold tours to Crete and Rhodes. The average depth of sales was about three weeks, which is a good indicator for directions with a visa regime.
Biblio-Globus and ANEX Tour operator companies reported that demand in Greece remained at the level of the last season. As Biblio-Globus noted, traditionally in the greatest demand were resorts of the Greek islands - Crete, Rhodes, Kos and Corfu.
Mouzenidis Travel believes that the numbers will not differ much from the last year’s ones.
The representative office of the Greek National Tourist Organization in Russia (GNTO) also agrees that Greece has shown a good result on the Russian market. According to forecasts of representatives of Greek tourism, in 2018 Greece will host about 900 thousand Russian tourists, which corresponds to the figures for 2017.