The cruise industry in Greece saw an increase in the number of passengers during the first seven months of the year, according to figures released by the Piraeus Port Authority (OLP).
The January – July 2016 period saw 150,000 more cruise passengers in Greece, registering an 18.54 percent increase, compared to the same period last year.
According to OLP, the positive performance is a result of a series of measures implemented by the authority in the cruise sector, which include upgrades in passenger terminals, new trade agreements to attract more cruise companies to Piraeus and actions to boost the attractiveness of cruise tourism.
“The implementation of direct investments of over 135 million euros — according to the new concession contract for the expansion of port infrastructure in the southern part of the port to accommodate new large-capacity cruise ships — aim to highlight Piraeus as the largest Mediterranean cruise port”, OLP said in an announcement.
It remains to be seen what exactly is in store for Greece’s cruise tourism as companies are said to be reducing their presence in the Eastern Mediterranean due to the unrest generated in Turkey.
Last week the Association of Cruise Shipowners and Associated Members (EEKFN) said that international cruise companies have canceled some 138 stops at Greek destinations for the next couple of years. Experts say that this is a loss of 330,000 passengers.
However, EEKFN’s president, Thodoros Kontes, said that “it is too early to reach any conclusions”.