For­eign ar­rivals, travel re­ceipts might just reach their tar­gets

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Early hopes for new records dur­ing the cur­rent tourism sea­son in terms of ar­rivals and travel re­ceipts have been rekin­dled, as tourism has shown strong re­sis­tance to pres­sures gen­er­ated by the cap­i­tal con­trols, ac­cord­ing to in­dus­try ex­perts.

The pres­i­dent of the As­so­ci­a­tion of Hel­lenic Tourism En­ter­prises (SETE), An­dreas An­dreadis, told Kathimerini that the orig­i­nal high tar­gets set for in­com­ing tourism could be at­tained un­less there is more po­lit­i­cal or eco­nomic tur­bu­lence in the coun­try be­fore the end of the sea­son, such as a new elec­tion. In prac­tice, that means ar­rivals amount­ing to or ex­ceed­ing 25 mil­lion and tourism rev­enues of around 14 bil­lion eu­ros.

An­dreadis added that tourism with­stood the tur­bu­lence cre­ated when the cap­i­tal con­trols were in­tro­duced in late June, mainly thanks to the de­cline in the price of Greek pack­ages in for­eign mar­kets. Sev­eral ar­eas of Greece have man­aged to off­set the losses caused by can­cel­la­tions from the do­mes­tic mar­ket by draw­ing for­eign tourists with dis­counts and spe­cial of­fers.

Among the fac­tors that have helped tourism this sum­mer are air ar­rivals, which have posted a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease, and the fa­vor­able ex­change rate for trav­ellers from the US and Bri­tain, said An­dreadis.

Air­ports around Greece pre­sented a mixed pic­ture last month, as Rhodes recorded a 2 per­cent dip from July 2014 to 411,114, with Rus­sian visi­tors drop­ping 51.5 per­cent, while Zakyn­thos re­ported a 7.6 per­cent rise to 150,964, cap­i­tal­iz­ing on an 11.3 per­cent in­crease from Bri­tain, 35.8 per­cent from Ger­many and a spec­tac­u­lar 70.9 per­cent rise from Poland. Rus­sian ar­rivals to Zakyn­thos de­creased 82.5 per­cent.

Zakyn­thos air­port re­ported a 7.6 per­cent yearly ex­pan­sion in ar­rivals last month to 150,964, cap­i­tal­iz­ing on an 11.3 per­cent in­crease from Bri­tain, 35.8 per­cent from Ger­many and a 70.9 per­cent rise from Poland.

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