The balancing act for Greek tourism
Last year’s record figures and the forecasts for further growth issued at the beginning of the year could prove to fall flat for Greece.
The head of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises, Andreas Andreadis, warned that the positive expectations may not come to pass.
With the Greek government betting on tourism to meet its fiscal targets, the warning is a worrying one. Especially as Andreas argues that excessive taxation by the government will make an impact. Plus the delayed completion of a bailout review that led to additional austerity measures for Greece.
Having already suffered a 10% decline in competitiveness due to the taxes of the third bailout agreement, the concern is also that the cost of accommodation, food service, beverages and more will increase.
A balance must be found between increasing tax and the impact from tourism, especially with the record summer that was expected, potentially not happening.
However, security concerns in other countries may help Greece secure as many as 2.3 million tourists from Europe’s leading tour operators. With security issues in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, Greece may be hoping for an improved share from their tourism rivals:
The impact on hotels?
The government plan to impose an overnight fee on hotels, ranked in categories above two stars, would be a gravestone for business activity in tourism – it could lead to a massive wave of hotels downgrading to lower categories.
What does the rest of the world think?
Oleg Safonov, the head of the Russian Tourism Federal Agency addressed the Greek-Russian travel forum this week and announced that the number of Russian tourists in Greece this year may reach 1 million.
This includes B2B meetings aimed at securing business deals and partnerships between Greek and Russian tourism enterprises.
Whilst attracting 1.2 million arrivals in 2013, there was a downward trend during 2014-2015.
However, the head of the Russian Tourism Federal Agency also referred to long-term bonds of Greece and Russia in the fields of religion and history verifying that ”Russians love Greece and they like to travel here. They like the beaches and the sunny climate, but there is room for expansion of their travel choices to other less known destinations within the country.”
The beauty of Greece will always be a draw for some:
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