Greeks face a 30% average increase in the cost of their holidays this year, compared to 2019, according to a top official in Greek tourism, due to the increase in the operation costs of hospitality and transport, as well as the huge demand for beds and seats compared to supply this year.
In view of the soaring costs and the limited availability, an increasing number of Greeks are planning on spending the summer at their holiday homes or staying in their hometowns, or even choosing a holiday abroad that may end up being more affordable.
Demand for holidays in Greece this summer has grown beyond expectations, as the country and its tourism sector are capitalizing on their positive operation during the pandemic and on the general upgrading of infrastructures, hospitality and the so-called “Greece” brand. As demand continues to rise, costs are swelling too, due to the energy rate hikes and inflation that has driven up the prices of goods and services more generally.
The head of the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation, Grigoris Tasios, told the organization’s general meeting a few days ago that the average operating costs for hotels has risen by 25%-30%.
A large share of that hike will fall on guests’ shoulders, tourism industry sources admit, noting that the sector’s obligations amassed during the pandemic do not allow for costs to be absorbed.
As the holidays approach and a large portion of Greeks – as well as potential visitors from abroad – have not made any bookings yet, they may face an even higher bill for an extra reason: The deals with the major tour operators abroad were made at the start of 2022, when no one could foresee the major increases in energy and transport costs.
As a result, companies are pricing their remaining beds (if they have any) at even higher rates for the peak months of July and August, to offset their losses from the deals signed last fall for this summer.
What this means in practical terms is that two families may stay in similar rooms next to each other, with one of them paying 150 euros per night while the other pays €300.
It is therefore no surprise that many families are deciding to look for affordable package holidays in other countries.
This article was previously published in ekathimerini.com.