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SETE Chief Says Greece Tourism Revenue May Rise by 9% in 2017

Greece may see its revenue rise by as much as 1 billion euros in 2017, according to Andreas Andreadis, the president of the country’s largest sector body, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).

In an interview to Reuters on Tuesday, Andreadis said that revenue from tourism may increase by 9 percent in 2017, contributing significantly to Greece’s economic recovery, but was quick to underline that unresolved political issues may put that figure at risk.

Andreadis estimated that 2017 tourism returns can rise to 14.5 billion euros from 13.2 billion euros in 2016 (down by 6.4 percent), adding that he expects the number of tourist arrivals to reach 27 million against 25 million last year.

“We could see a rebound to 14.2-14.5 billion euros, which translates to a 9 percent increase year-on-year,” Andreadis told Reuters. “But these estimates come with conditions.’’

Representing over 50,000 tourism-related businesses, SETE’s chief went on to stress that his estimates depend on the Greek government completing ongoing negotiations over its bailout progress, as well as keeping relations ‘’çool” with Turkey and handling the migrant crisis effectively. “The situation in Turkey is currently unpredictable … After April, tension will defuse evidently,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ongoing refugee crisis took a toll on bookings as negative images of Greece continued to dominate international media. Businesses were forced to slash prices, which in turn led to reduced revenues despite a peak in arrivals, Andreadis said.

“The image of Egypt and Turkey has not recovered (and) Greece is a safe destination while Spain has increased prices… In this environment, Greece offers best value for money,’’ Andreadis said justifying his estimates.

On a final note, he said he expects cruise arrivals to drop this year due to the political instability in the region. Meanwhile, according to preliminary data, interest from Russia, Germany and Britain, are on the rise.

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