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Liquidity, Return of Rival Markets Break Greek Tourism Spell

Paros Island. Photo Source:

Paros Island, Greece. Photo Source:

Limited access to cash on top of recovering rival markets are taking a bite out of Greece’s tourism sector in terms of arrivals and revenue, according to market experts.

Hotel owners stress that inability to secure liquidity is forcing them to offer sizeable discounts on all-inclusive packages in order to repay loans or other obligations particularly at 5-star facilities during the early booking period which usually ends in March, resulting yet again in significantly reduced rates, waning profits and little chance for upgrades.

HCH general assembly - Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios.

Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios speaking during the HCH general assembly.

Meanwhile, rival markets including Turkey and Egypt are back in the game recovering from the tourist slump in previous years, which had been a boon for Greek tourism while the early booking period there ends in June.

Tourism sector representatives including the Hellenic Hotel Chamber (HCH) and the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (HHF) are calling for actions that will ensure access to funds for sector professionals and support of private entrepreneurship in order to keep up with rival markets and strengthen Greek tourism in the constantly evolving tourism market.

“The more our neighbors’ recover, the more we increase early booking options from 15 percent to 20 percent and 25 percent,” said HHF President Grigoris Tassios during last week’s HCH general assembly.

Photo: GTP

Indicatively, November data showed that the number of international arrivals in Turkey in the first 10 months of 2017 increased by 28.01 percent, compared to the corresponding 10-month period in 2016, with Russian travelers topping source markets. A total of 32,410,034 tourists visited Turkey last year, against 25,352,213 in 2016, compared to the record in 2014 at 36,837,900 arrivals. At the same time, Turkey’s tourist revenues rose by 18.9 percent in 2017 to 26.283 billion dollars, 77.4 percent of which was generated by foreign visitors and 22.6 percent by diaspora Turks.

Greece’s second main rival Egypt marked a 54 percent rise in international arrivals for 2017 at 8.3 million tourists compared to 14.7 million tourists in 2010.

Tunisia is also recovering after the terrorist attacks there at resorts and museums in 2015, marking a 23 percent increase in international arrivals to 6.73 million against 7.16 million in 2014.

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