Ferry traffic to the Greek islands has picked up pace by 6.9 percent in peak season (June 1-August 18) compared to the same period last year, according to Shipping and Island Policy ministry data published by financial daily Naftemporiki.
According to the ministry report, during the June-August 2016 period, the Attica ports of Rafina and Lavrio have seen a slight increase compared to the same period last year. Capital restrictions appear to have initially taken a bite out of ferry travel which was offset however by the transportation of refugees in the first months of summer.
The ministry indicates that in June this year, 489,676 passengers traveled from Piraeus to the Aegean islands against 518,678 last year. July 2016 saw 1,027,146 passengers go through Piraeus’ gates, against 833,948 in 2015, while August this year (through to the 18th) transported 739,739 passengers compared to 782.685 in the same period last year.
In the meantime, Piraeus-based consultants XRTC expressed reserved optimism earlier this month that the sector will prove to be resilient due to a fairly streamlined operating framework as long as reforms are implemented and trust is restored in the Greek economy which will in turn restore purchasing power to the people.