BUSINESS

Port strike sees cruise revenues take a dive

NIKOS ROUSSANOGLOU

TAGS: Tourism, Shipping

If port workers in Piraeus do not cease their strike action, the losses from cruise ship activity in June alone are expected to add up to 12 million euros, to say nothing of an even bigger impact if the strike goes on for the rest of the summer, according to sector professionals.

The market warns that Piraeus risks missing out on making the most of the situation that has seen tourists avoiding Turkey and Egypt this year due to security issues, which has seen cruise companies turn to Greek destinations instead.

Greece’s Association of Cruise Ship Owners and Maritime Agencies (EEKFN) on Monday presented figures showing that as long as the strikes continue, for this month alone, the direct financial impact from the reduction of tourism revenues will amount to 3.5-4 million euros, port and airport service revenues will drop by 2-2.5 million euros and commercial revenue (from supply payments etc.) will fall 5-5.5 million euros.

Those losses will be the consequences of the reduction in cruise passengers by some 45,000-50,000 in terms of transit cruise liners, and 25,000-30,000 from home porting cruise ships that would start their itinerary from a Greek port.

Port strikes in Piraeus and Thessaloniki have been extended until at least Thursday morning, by which time the industrial action will have been going on for two weeks. This has reversed the very positive atmosphere that had been created for the cruise sector in Greece, as Piraeus had been expected to double its home porting thanks to an increasing number of cruise itineraries setting off from the country’s main port.

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