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Italy Travelers Shy Away from Greece in Jan-Apr

Naxos Island. In April, the majority of Italian travelers followed the Paros-Naxos-Thira route.

Naxos Island. In April, the majority of Italian travelers followed the Paros-Naxos-Thira route.

Incoming traffic from Italy has dropped by 14 percent in the first four months of 2015, Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) figures released last week reveal.

Arrivals from the Italian ports of Ancona, Brindisi, Bari, Venice, Trieste and Ravenna, declined by 14 percent between January and April, 2015 compared to the same period last year.

According to SETE data, the total number of arrivals by ferry to Greek ports and the number of visitors coming to Greece from Italy by ferry dropped in the first four months of the year.

Indicatively, in April some 549,687 passengers went through Greek ports with the majority traveling the ParosNaxosThira route. A total of 1,339,947 passengers, down by 3.5 percent, arrived at Greek ports in the January-April 2015 period, traveling the Heraklion, Crete line.

In the meantime, in efforts to demonstrate the leading role of tourism in the Greek economy, SETE’s Intelligence unit presented figures from Greece’s largest social security fund (IKA). In 2014, the volume of employment (work days) grew by 23 percent on an annual basis with an additional 137,000 salaried jobs (up by 36 percent from 2013) in July that year compared to a year earlier, exceeding the 500,000-job threshold marking a third of total private sector employment.

Salaries in total came to 3.8 billion euros last year, growing by half a billion from the previous year with the average monthly salary in accommodation exceeding 1,000 euros. Total social security contributions to IKA rose by 200 million euros to 1.6 billion euros.

At the same time, air traffic in the January-May 2015 period, increased by 10.5 percent compared to the same period in 2014, partly due to the rise in traffic at Athens and Thessaloniki airports, up by 26 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

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