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Passenger fleet sinks under the pressure of crisis

02 February 2012 / 16:02:20  GRReporter
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Collapse in the Greek passenger fleet is observed, according to the data of the survey held by Stochasis Business Consultants. They note that the 2011 drop in the turnover of the sector is between 7% and 10%. The negative trend began in 2009 when the decrease in turnover was 6% and in 2010, it fell by another 6.8%. The condition of sea transport is highly dependent on fuel prices, which have been rapidly growing in Greece in the last three years. Like the general situation of the local economy, the passenger fleet faces major ongoing uncertainties and analysts estimate that the sector will not manage long in unfavourable economic environment.

The analysis Stochasis Business Consultants notes that internal courses take 54% of the market, floating in the Adriatic Sea (Greece-Italy) - 37% and ferry courses - 9%. The market volume for 2010 reached 1.38 billion euro. Total turnover is formed by the price of passenger tickets, freight charges and sale of goods and services to vehicles on and from board and a very small percentage of other services.

The main players in the passenger transport in Greece are ΑΝΕΚ LINES, MINOAN LINES, ATTICA GROUP, HELLENIC SEAWAYS, NEL LINES. They hold two-thirds of the services provided in civil maritime transport, according to data from 2010. Three of the five companies (ΑΝΕΚ LINES, MINOAN LINES, ATTICA GROUP) hold 74% of domestic shipping and 69% of those in the Adriatic Sea. The period 2011-2012 is expected to involve a total of 155 companies with 210 ships with regular routes. Passengers have declined by 6% and 3% in 2009 and 2010 respectively.

The analysis notes that 56% of passenger transport and 70% of car transport to and from the islands were carried out by local ferry connections. The number of passengers by car on the ferry is greater for internal transfers than for those from Greece to Italy.

Competition in the sector is high and it mainly relates to the quality of services provided by different companies, security, frequency of courses, speed and promotional offers available. The outlook for the sector of passenger vessels in Greece will depend largely on the Greek economy and the implementation of structural changes. This will enable the sector to help the country return to its economic growth.

But the economic upturn is yet to come. The country still faces a real danger of falling into uncontrolled bankruptcy, if it does not get the second European bailout, which will secure relative stability until the reorganization of the local economy is complete and the budget deficit becomes zero. This uncertainty seriously concerns tourism, which is one of the most important sectors with a huge contribution to the economy of the Mediterranean country.

In the analysis of the hotel business in Greece, GBR Consulting estimates that most of the hotels in the country are threatened by confiscation by banks due to inability to meet their maturing liabilities. The report points out that the crisis has led to a significant reduction in the payment of hotels’ debts due to declining market, higher interest rates and lack of liquidity. Analysts estimate that banks finance hotels as "property" and not as a business. Delay or non-payment of obligations on taken loans could force financial institutions to take over the hotel buildings to avoid recording of "bad" loans, which will force them to increase their capital more. Changes in the market will soon become known because Blackrock has already delivered its report to the Bank of Greece, including the estimates of additional write-offs needed to recapitalize the banks.

In the last year, about 10 hotels in Athens that failed to withstand the pressure of economic crisis closed. Resort hotels outside the capital record a slight increase in revenue per room index (RevPAR) of 6.9% for the fourth quarter of 2011, and for the whole year, it is 10.4%. This trend is not seen in Athens, where the drop in the same indicator is 10.9%, despite the closure of some hotel units, which has led to reduced demand. The tourism barometer of GBR Consulting forecasts that 2012 will be even more severe for Greek hotels, mainly in the capital as it has created unfavourable image last year. Only resort units of Crete and five star hotels, which maintain a high level of services and better security, are expected to record a good year.

Tags: EconomyMarketsPassenger fleetGreeceCrisisHotels
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