Many hotels in Greece are found in the brink collapse following the decision of the Italian tour operator Veratour to cancel payments to Greek hoteliers, citing Greece’s eventual exit from the euro. As expected, this decision shook the already collapsing tourism of the country.
According to several Italian hoteliers, Greece’s possible exit from the common currency gives the opportunity to many foreign tour operators to withdraw from long-term contracts signed with hotel enterprises in order to save their money.
The primary prohibitive factor, as emphasized by Italian businessmen, is the fact that more and more tourism firms in Europe are one step away from bankruptcy after the dramatic changes in the habits of travelers during the last two years, who now like to arrange their holiday packages themselves, searching for the most advantageous proposals.
Until a few years ago, the majority of tour operators purchased hotel rooms for 3 or 5 years so as to obtain better prices. Prices fell even more when the operator gave in advance payments of 20% or 30% of the total amount.
Veratour Chairman Carlo Pompili, in a letter to cooperating hoteliers, stated that “the dramatic decline in confidence in Greece as a destination for next summer forces us to break our exclusive cooperation contract commitments. We will not be able to deliver further advance payments, at least until the state of the country becomes clearer and more stable.”
Greek hoteliers say the industry is on red alert status, citing information indicating that there are other Italian tour operators geared toward the same decision.
In a letter to the media, president and CEO of Kolymbia Beach Hotel in Rhodes, Doros Pierides, notes, “The largest Italian tourism company Veratour, which works exclusively with 6-7 hotels in the country, sent a document that it will suspend payments to the partner hotels, citing a coming exit of our country from the eurozone, the decisions in the recent G8 summit, governmental instability, the Greek elections, etc.”