Greek tourism down 8.85% in the first months of 2009
According to latest statistics released by ITEP, the Institute for Tourist Research and Forecast and SETE, the Association of Tourism Enterprises, Greek tourism is down 8.85% in the first months of 2009 in comparison with the same period in 2008, mostly due to the international financial crisis.
Tourism is a leading industry in Greece, therefore these numbers indicate a possible weak tourist season this summer, although officials and businesses related to tourism hope that the negative climate will reverse.
Reduced Numbers of Arrivals at the Greek Airports in the First Quarter of 2009
During the first quarter of 2009, 2.366.453 people arrived in Greece. In May 2009 arrivals dropped almost 11.08% compared to May 2008. The biggest reduction was noticed at the Santorini Airport, where arrivals dropped 41.66%.
The Athens International Airport shows a whopping 12% drop, while Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece, saw 14.69% drop.
In Crete, Chania showed 10.99% drop and Heraklion 10.72%.
The islands of the Dodecanese complex have suffered less during the first quarter, as Rhodes saw a 3.68% drop and Kos 9.05%.
Kefalonia, one of the most known Ionian Islands, shows a drop of 21.57%, while Chios and Samos show a drop of 19.12% and 15.04%.
According to analysts, tourism in Athens and Thessaloniki is also affected by the significant drop in business and convention tourism this year, while the more affordable tourist destinations in the country are less affected by the overall drop.
Experts and analysts expect the crisis to hit Greece more severely during the high tourist season, in July and August this year. The figures released already are not a precise measure of tourism in the country; however, they are considered a proxy for the trend in the tourism sector.