Besides being one of the fastest growing sectors in Europe, cruise travel employs some 10,000 people who contribute over 188 million euros annually to the Greek economy, according to the latest report by the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
The CLIA report, presented on Tuesday, revealed that the industry in Europe grew by 2 percent and an estimated 40.95 billion euros in 2015, adding 10,000 new jobs to a total of 360,571 whose salaries plus benefits reach 11.05 billion euros.
“The cruise industry continues to contribute significantly to the economic recovery of Europe,” said CLIA Europe Chairman and Executive Chairman of MSC Cruises Pierfrancesco Vago.
Greece, meanwhile, has maintained its ranking as the third most popular destination in Europe, with a 13.3 percent share and total of 4,176,500 cruise passenger visits. Santorini, Piraeus, Mykonos, Corfu and Katakolon took the lead as ports of call in 2015, with some 980,049 passengers starting their voyages from the port of Piraeus.
“Cruise travel is a growing tourism sector and at the same time has positive prospects, contributing in many ways to the European economy. A country like Greece, with unique beauty and diverse destinations, history and culture, can and should be developed into a leading cruise destination, and indeed all year long,” said Kyriakos Anastasiadis, CEO Celestyal Cruises and executive member of CLIA Europe.
“The sheer number of destinations in close proximity is an operational plus for cruise companies, while the good climate and its strategic geographic position could bring to the fore new markets and destinations,” he concluded.