German tour operators add hotels

Tour operators in Germany are showing their faith in Greece by adding more franchise and partner hotels to their portfolios despite the current slump in bookings and also hope that lower prices will stimulate demand for late sales this year.

April 11, 2012
Photo: TUI

Bookings for Greece have fallen heavily on the German market this year. Most major tour operators, including TUI, Thomas Cook, Rewe, Alltours and FTI, have lower sales for the destination. There are some positive exceptions amid the general gloom, however.

TUI, for example, has a drop of one third in its bookings for the destination. Its franchise hotels, though, are bucking the trend and are mostly showing growth. “This confirms our strategy of expanding in Greece in these difficult times,” said Germany managing director Volker Böttcher. He stressed that Greece remains an attractive destination, both in terms of the hotel portfolio and prices “which have been reduced by as much as 10%”. TUI currently has 17 branded hotels in Greece, including four Sensimar properties, and will open a new Robinson and two Magic Life resorts on Crete this summer.

Thomas Cook is also looking to expand its Sentido brand in Greece, where it offers 10 resorts. “Greece is a strong destination and should remain so. That is why we are searching for appropriate properties,” said Sentido managing director Stefanie Berk. Meanwhile, her colleague, Daniela Köhler, Thomas Cook’s senior product manager for Greece, hopes that price cuts will help stimulate demand for Greece this summer. “I expect that we will have plenty of very attractive prices for holidays in Greece in the market. This already helped two years ago,” she said.

Among other tour operators, Rewe is offering three new franchise resorts in Greece this year, while Alltours has added 30 new hotels to its programme and FTI has 21 more resorts on offer.

Fvw is organising a Greece workshop for German travel agents in Athens in May, together with the Hellenic Chamber of Commerce. Travel agents will discuss with tour operators and hoteliers how to generate a recovery in demand and will visit tourism highlights in Athens and on the Peloponnese.

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