The cruise industry is feeling the brunt of ongoing strikes at ports in Thessaloniki and Piraeus, with potential losses reaching 12 million euros this month, Theodore Kontes, the president of Union of Cruise Shipowners and Associated Members (EEKFN), said on Monday.
“There has been a change in routes in the last few days for ships bound for the port of Piraeus, as they could not accommodate luggage transport for cruise ship passengers,” said Mr Kontes, adding that the passengers of liners that did manage to dock were faced with difficulties.
The union’s president underlines that should such actions continue, damages will snowball in the coming months. He added that there are reports of several operators considering changing destinations, which will lead to a negative image of Greece’s largest port at the peak of the season and canceled visits to other ports in the country.
According to EEKFN data, the impact of the strikes for June 2016 has led to a drop by 45,000-50,000 in in-transit passengers; a reduction by 25,000-30,000 of home porting travelers; a decrease of tourism revenue by some 3.5-4 million euros; decreased revenue from ports/airports by 2-2.5 million euros.
In the meantime, port employees have said they will continue to hold repeated 48-hour strikes today and on Wednesday, demanding the protection of their labor rights following the the privatizations of the Piraeus (OLP) and Thessaloniki (TPA) port authority.