The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) on Tuesday expressed concern that the economic instability and the increasing number of illegal migrant incidents in Greece may have dented Greece’s appeal to tourists from the traditional markets of Germany and the United Kingdom.
According to data released by SETE, bookings from Germany to Greece recorded a 26 percent drop in March, compared to the same period last year. Although UK bookings have not yet recorded a decline, the confederation pointed out Greece’s significant loss of market share due to the competition.
SETE underlined that as long as the Greek Government does not reach an agreement with the country’s creditors and Greece’s economic instability is extended, “it is certain that the growth rate of Greek tourism will be affected” and cause an economic and social impact on the Greek economy, contribution to GDP and employment.
The confederation added that the increasing number of illegal migrant incidents in Greece only came to add negative effects to Greece’s image.
Due to the recent developments, SETE will reassess its target of Greece welcoming 25 million international arrivals and 14 billion euros in revenue this year.
Meanwhile, according to data from the Bank of Greece, during January-February 2015, incoming tourism to Greece increased by 52.7 percent and exceeded 1.1 million tourists, compared to the same period last year (730,000 tourists).
As a result, Greece’s travel receipts increased by 12.4 percent compared to the same period of 2014, reaching 327 million euros.
During the first two months of the year, revenue from German residents remained relatively stable and amounted to 26 million euros. On the other hand, tourism revenue from the UK increased by 54 percent to 30 million euros.