Christmas abroad is tempting

The number of Greeks choosing to spend Christmas or New Year’s abroad has risen by up to 40 percent compared to last year, travel agents said, amid concerns about a downturn in business for domestic resorts.

One of the key factors driving the increase is that foreign package deals are competitively priced in comparison to what is on offer in Greece.

“Europe has become cheaper than Greece,” travel agent Vangelis Bivolaris said. “Our peak season is short, so hoteliers try and make as much money as they can during the winter holidays.” Bivolaris said that it is impossible to find a room at one of Greece’s ski centers for less than euro 120 a night during Christmas.

These hotels are currently around 90 percent full but hoteliers from surrounding areas are worried about the lack of bookings for the post-holiday period.

“We have customers for the holidays but we have nothing after that,” said guesthouse owner Emilia Georgakopoulou. “The weather has not helped.”