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Tourism bookings show 5 pct increase as safety becomes a key priority

The first wave of holiday bookings for 2016 has generated optimism in the tourism industry for another year of growth, as the main markets are showing an increase from last year, which posted an all-time record high in arrivals. Terrorist attacks at some rival destinations mean that security is the main concern for travelers making their summer vacation plans.

The president of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, says that bookings for the 2016 season have so far shown an increase of about 5 percent from last year. However, developments on an international level suggest that the growth rate may soon rise on the back of last-minute bookings. Andreadis believes that the holiday choices tourists make this year will be primarily driven by the need for security, while others factors will take a back seat. The figures and estimates to date point to a bed alone being sufficient in some European destinations deemed safe. This appears to be the case for Greece, given the tourism demand for this summer.

Compared to last year, bookings from Britain, Germany, Austria, Russia, Poland and Scandinavia are showing a rise, while the Dutch market is showing a decline. Bookings for cruise holidays in Greece are also displaying positive momentum.

Source: ekathimerini.com