Winter destinations: “Tsunami” of cancellations with the new measures – Recovery of the Epiphany


The festive season for winter destinations started with the best omens. The fullness for Christmas, in popular places, had reached almost 100%, however, from the day of the announcement of the new measures, on December 30, the telephones in the accommodation were ‘broken’. The cancellations followed one another, and in several cases, for the benefit of the economy and business, new last minute bookings were added. As for the days of the Epiphany, on average, they move to 60%.

Mountain destinations, ski resorts, Christmas villages, traditional settlements, picturesque cities. During these holidays, the people wanted to travel to Greece, to break out and escape from everyday life, but always in the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic. The days of Christmas moved to very high levels, reminiscent of good old days, as, typically mentioned by tourism entrepreneurs in a report by

However, the increased cases of the last few days and the appearance of the Omicron mutation, led the Government to take immediate, new measures, which were implemented on the eve of the New Year, December 30, 2021. This resulted in the cancellation of the excursionists, which, of course, and was accompanied by frustration of the owners of the accommodation. In many cases the gap of last minute cancellations was also filled by last minute bookings. Some better prices, good weather and the need to escape brought fullness to the accommodation, but not the expected ones.

“We started with very good omens, on Christmas days we worked satisfactorily,” Dimitris Mantsios, president of the Imathia Hoteliers Association, told

However, the same picture did not continue for the New Year and from the moment the new measures were announced (opening hours in stores of health interest, banning music, cancellation of events, etc.) there was a “tsunami” of cancellations. “90% of our reservations were canceled,” says Mr. Mantsios, explaining that the advances deposited by their customers were postponed for the next few months.
Regarding the days of the Epiphany, there is a small recovery and until the moment of our report, the bookings in the accommodation of Imathia are around 35%.

Kastoria without Ragoutsaria

The picturesque city of Western Macedonia was one of the areas that ‘sank’ with people on Christmas day. However, even there, with the announcement of the new measures, for the New Year there were cancellations at a rate of at least 30%.

“People were scared, there were cancellations, but in some cases the gaps were filled by last minute bookings,” the president of the Hoteliers Association told Kastorias Sideris Smaropoulos.

As far as the Epiphany is concerned, there is a fullness of 60%, but based on Mr. Smaropoulos’s estimates, “maybe we will catch 80%, with last minute bookings”.
Of course, under normal circumstances, on the three days of January 6-8, Kastoria would be 100% full. The reason is the Ragoutsaria, the Kastorian carnivals, which are revived every year. This year, due to the pandemic and the Omicron mutation, all events have been canceled. “We are losing the ultimate three days of fun and entrepreneurship,” says the president of the Kastoria hoteliers.

In 60% – 70% the mountains of Pieria and Pella

The picture was similar in the mountains of Pieria (Elatochori, Paleos Panteleimonas, etc.) and Pella, where even there, when the new measures were announced, there were cancellations of at least 30%. The advances that had been submitted, as informed by, have been extended for the coming months.
“While there was a trend for 90% for the New Year, they fell to 60% – 70%,” the president of the Federation of Rooms and Apartments for Rent in Pieria, Pella and Imathia, Grigoris Veidamenidis, told

Regarding the Epiphany, in the popular destinations -Loutra Loutraki (Pozar), Elatochori etc.-, until the moment of our report, the reservations are around 60%.
Especially for Palio Agios Athanasios, as informs the businessman George Tarsounas “we are at 80%”. He says that on New Year’s Day there were cancellations, which however were covered by new last minute bookings.

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