The most popular winter and holiday destinations in Greece are almost 80 per cent booked, meaning Greeks are treating themselves despite the economic and political instability.

Hoteliers estimate that last-minute bookings will bring hotels to almost full capacity by Christmas and say the numbers have far exceeded 2013 figures.

Occupancy rates all over Greece are exceeding expectations. In Arachova in Boeotia, 85 per cent of accommodations are already booked for Christmas and 75 per cent for New Year’s. In Ioannina, western Greece, 85 per cent are booked for both holidays. In the Magnesia-Pilion area in central Greece, occupancy exceeds 80 per cent for Christmas and 70 per cent for New Year’s.

The current political turmoil has affected external tourism numbers, with new tourism bookings for next year down by as much as 50 per cent.

International airlines are also delaying the submission of their final schedules for next year as they wait for political developments in the country.

While hoteliers are confident Christmas and New Year’s bookings won’t be affected, they are afraid that snap elections in late January or early February will greatly affect the winter tourism season.

There is also uncertainty regarding international conferences which had been scheduled to take place in Greece in 2015.

Source: Kathimerini