Cruise ar­rivals to drop up to 30 pct

Kathimerini English - - Focus - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Cruise pas­sen­ger vis­its to Greek shores are pro­jected to be lower this year com­pared to 2016, while there are warn­ing signs for next year too, ac­cord­ing to sched­ules that in­ter­na­tional cruise com­pa­nies have drafted for this coun­try.

Sec­tor rep­re­sen­ta­tives say that the loss in terms of pas­sen­ger vis­its may come to 30 per­cent this year. How­ever, what wor­ries the mar­ket most is the like­li­hood that this year’s low cruise pas­sen­ger ar­rival fig­ures will drop next sea­son too.

Fear fac­tor

Cruise com­pa­nies draft their sched­ules per des­ti­na­tion a year or two in ad­vance and it is only in case of an ex­tra­or­di­nary event that they re­write their sched­ules. For in­stance, cruise op­er­a­tors greatly re­duced their routes to Turkey due to the ter­ror­ism prob­lems in the neigh­bor­ing coun­try. This has also re­sulted in a re­duc­tion of vis­its to Greek ports that served as in­ter­me­di­ary des­ti­na­tions on the way to the Turkish coast in com­bined cruise sched­ules.

The on­go­ing in­sta­bil­ity in Turkey this year has per­suaded cruise firms to re­duce their Greek ports of call for next year too, leav­ing this coun­try with a tourism ar­rival deficit.

Greece is sec­ond only to Cyprus among the Euro­pean Union’s worst hous­ing mar­kets, ac­cord­ing to data re­leased by Euro­stat re­gard­ing sale prices in the third quar­ter of last year. Prices de­clined 1.5 per­cent in Greece and 3.3 per­cent in Cyprus com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015.

Ter­ror at­tacks in Turkey will re­sult in fewer Greek ports of call this year and next.

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