BUSINESS

Maintaining tourism’s northbound course

STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

TAGS: Tourism

An improvement in the way the country’s migration crisis is being managed and the smooth completion of the bailout review would enable Greek tourism to maintain its northbound course in 2017, according to the head of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis.

So far, growth of more than 10 percent has been recorded in bookings from the British market for next season. Generally, bookings made up to this time account for some 20 percent of the total annual figure from the UK. The first signs from flight schedules for next year also offer cause for optimism, he noted on Thursday.

Andreadis said it is positive that Greece remains one of the safest destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean. However, he added that the country’s image will have to constantly improve, as it still lags its rivals. In terms of security, he stated, Greece is ahead of Turkey, Egypt and France, but behind Croatia, Spain and Italy. He also reasoned that Greece could secure a greater tourism market share next year because neighboring destinations are practically closed.

On the migration issue, Andreadis said that in the minds of tourists it is still associated with security, so efforts to manage it must be intensified. He went on to note that the rise of the dollar works in Greece’s favor, as it means the country more competitive vis-a-vis destinations outside the eurozone.

The SETE head also stressed there are two tiers of Greek tourism: the organized and advertised areas and enterprises that are thriving, and the thousands of small and medium-sized tourism enterprises that cannot afford promotion and advertising that are trying to stay alive.

Online