De­cline in visi­tor num­bers to end-Fe­bru­ary

Kathimerini English - - Focus - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

In­com­ing tourism has got off to a neg­a­tive start in 2017, ac­cord­ing to data on air, land and sea ar­rivals and to­tal rev­enues as re­ported yes­ter­day by the Greek Tourism Con­fed­er­a­tion (SETE).

Road ar­rivals in the first two months of the year were down 60,000 from the same pe­riod in 2016, while air ar­rivals were up 18,000 and sea ar­rivals in­creased 1,500 on an an­nual ba­sis, for a to­tal re­duc­tion of about 40,000 in visi­tor num­bers. Travel re­ceipts also posted a de­cline in Jan­uary.

How­ever, the In­sti­tute of SETE main­tains its pos­i­tive pro­jec­tions for the year as a whole de­spite strong signs of un­cer­tainty in the coun­try given the de­lays in the com­ple­tion of the sec­ond bailout re­view as well as broader geopo­lit­i­cal de­vel­op­ments.

SETE es­ti­mates that to­tal ar­rivals this year will come to 28 mil­lion while fore­cast­ing rev­enues of 14.2-14.5 bil­lion euros. Th­ese op­ti­mistic pre­dic­tions are sup­ported by book­ing data from major in­ter­na­tional tour op­er­a­tors based on in­creased de­mand for air seats to Greece for the sum­mer, im­proved con­sumer con­fi­dence in Greek tourism’s main mar­kets (with the ex­cep­tion of Italy and the UK) and in­ter­na­tional sur­veys point­ing to an in­crease in global tourism.

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