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Gloomy outlook for summer 2010 tourist season

27 April 2010 / 11:04:33  GRReporter
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Bleak prospects for the Greek tourism season summer 2010, because expected are at least 10% reduction of tourists from Germany and 7% from the UK. Data are from the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts, which assesses that the economic crisis and poor image of the country in put Greece in the background of preferences of western Europe tourists this year. Reservations from these countries have dropped drastically even compared to last year when the tourism sector was not flourishing. 

The institute reported that in 2009 12.2 percent fewer foreign tourists arrived in Greece compared to the previous season. In absolute terms, this means over 1.72 million tourists less, and the country has lost about €1.61 billion from the decline in tourist flows. Domino effect continues with a loss of about 47,000 seasonal jobs, which is about 10% of the total number of seasonal employment in the country. Study shows that domestic tourism significantly drops as well compared to previous years. Greeks no longer travel as before, and planning the annual leave happens last minute and people increasingly seek promotion offers. For flights more preferred are low-cost airlines with more affordable prices for ordinary citizens. 

The new economic reality invariably changes the face of tourism on a global and on national level. Low rates of economic growth and the general downturn in sales and bookings in recent years created liquidity problems in the tourism sector. According to hoteliers access of many enterprises to bank loans is restricted, and online reservations have allowed further price decreases and the reduction of the quality of services. Greek tourism has its own characteristics, which act disincentive in the process of improving the tourism environment in the country: cabotage (which has not yet been removed), high port charges, red tape and visa regime. 

For the 2010 season the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasting provides that there will be a slight increase in the flow of tourists from France and Italy, but mostly from Eastern Europe. 20% more tourists are expected from Russia this summer, who unfortunately cannot compensate for the reduction of traditional markets like Germany and the UK.

Tags: Greece tourism crisis economy
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