External factors may hurt tourism arrivals

By Stathis Kousounis

The target of drawing over 18 million tourists to Greece this season remains attainable, the general secretary of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Alexandros Lamnidis, said at the fourth annual HotelBrain event in Athens over the weekend, with signs from the British market being particularly positive.

However, he added, there are a number of external factors that may have a significant impact on the number of international arrivals this year and could threaten the growth in tourism revenues, which is a key factor in the recovery of the local economy.

These include the drop in the ruble to five-year lows in recent days, which makes eurozone destinations more expensive for Russian visitors, as well as the continuing unrest in Ukraine, whose impact on bookings cannot yet be assessed, according to Lamnidis.

He also expressed hope that the slide in the Turkish lira against the euro will not affect the flow of visitors from Turkey.