– Germans Just Say No To Greek Tourism, As Holiday Bookings Plunge By 30% (ZeroHedge, May 21, 2012):
The last time we looked at the Greek tourism industry or what’s left of it, ironically so very reliant on German tourists, we observed that receipts from this very critical to Greek tax receipts industry would likely drop to under €10 billion – a big hit to government revenues just when they are most needed. Needless to say, ongoing political chaos, a rise in anti-German sentiment, and a resurgent neo-nazi political power are not helping things. Sure enough Ekathimerini reports that German bookings continue to be in free fall: “German bookings for holidays in Greece have slumped by almost a third so far this year, a German Sunday paper quoted a Thomas Cook executive as saying. “By the beginning of the Summer season, booking numbers for holiday in Greece in the German travel industry have been 30 percent below the year-earlier figures,” Euro am Sonntag cited the head of tourism at Thomas Cook’s German unit, Michael Tenzer as saying in an excerpt of an article made available to Reuters on Saturday.”
A brief pick up in bookings was promptly doused once it became clear that the country could be stuck in an endless cycle of elections that produce no winner, but sure do produce a lot of uncertainty and chaos: “There had been an improvement up to the Greek elections in May, but with a looming reelection, talk of a euro exit and pictures of violent protests in cities, fears among Germans have returned, he added.” Unfortunately, unlike Amazon, margins may be negative, but volume won’t make up for the difference: “This was despite heavy discounts. Thomas Cook, for its part, was passing along to Greece-bound holiday makers discounts of up to 20 percent given by hotels and airlines, Tenzer was quoted as saying.” The punchline: “Germany’s biggest tour operators in March called on its nation’s holidaymakers to ignore anti-German sentiment in Athens and take trips to Greece’s islands, after booking numbers plunged at the start of the year.”
In other words: ignore everyone’s murderous rage at you and everything you represent – just go and have fun in the water. Yeah… Didn’t think so.