Greek ports have failed to draw in cruise travel despite the lifting of cabotage restrictions and are missing out by 1.3 billion euros in annual revenue, a report by Athens-based non-profit research organisation diaNEOsis revealed recently.
According to the report, since 2012 when cabotage was lifted (allowing non-EU flagged cruiseships to call at Greek ports) and despite being the third most popular destination in Mediterranean cruise travel, Greece has seen the number of cruise passengers decline instead of grow; remaining a transit country (instead of a homeport cruise destination) which accounts for 10 percent of all incoming tourism with only 5 percent in revenue, or 600 million euros per year.
Indicatively, passengers spend up to 300 euros on average at any home port, compared to 60 euros at transit ports. Besides the profits from tourism, cruise companies also pay for facilities and services at home ports, such as fuel, food, equipment, maintenance, repairs and technical control.
The diaNEOsis reports underlines that for Greece to be considered an ideal homeport destination for cruise companies, Greek ports must see investments and upgradings, undergo strategic planning and launch cooperations with cruise companies.