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MP Questions Validity of Tourism Movement Statistics

Member of the Greek Parliament with PASOK for Corfu, Angela Gerekou, recently questioned the tourism development ministry, the ministry of economy and finance and the ministry of development about the serious problems that appear in the statistics collected by the Greek National Statistics Service on observation of Greek tourism movement.

The Greek MP focused her criticism on the problematic re-evaluations of statistics from previous years, the weakness to produce and observe viable tourism-related indicators and distinguish immigration (primarily from Albania) from tourism movement and the lack of progress on the tourism satellite account.

Ms. Gerekou asserted, “We are half way through 2008 and the arrivals statistics for 2007 have still not been made public, which leaves us in the dark, and even when the statistics are revealed they are usually revised, which consequently makes us question the credibility of the National Statistics Service and the Greek National Tourism Organization.

She also stressed that a vast number of tourists recorded by the National Statistics Service are actually immigrants that come to Greece for work and not for tourism and underlined that the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) already excludes approximately 1,500,000 Albanian immigrants from its annual calculations.

Ms. Gerekou questioned why the creation of a tourism satellite account -that could possibly solve some of the aforementioned issues- is still in the process of being created, four years after the project was officially launched. Also, the MP wonders why the tourism development ministry does not accept the responsibility of addressing the issue of non-credible statistics, and rests comfortably with the claim that the National Statistics Service is not under its jurisdiction.

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