BUSINESS

Cruise tourism’s distorted picture

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism

While Greece is the third most popular cruise tourism destination in the Mediterranean, it is unable to make this translate into financial gains in the way that Spain and Italy do, while certain destinations such as Santorini and Myconos are disproportionately burdened by daily flows of visitors compared to the rest of the country.

This picture of distortion, reflected in the data of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) and the Hellenic Cruise Ship Owners Association (EKFN), is expected to deteriorate further this year: Despite the Greek market being expected to post a 2 percent decrease in ship visits and a 3.2 percent drop in passenger numbers, according to EFKN, the already cruise tourism-overloaded island of Santorini is projected to receive 130,000 more visitors this year.

According to CLIA, the direct expenditure that cruise passengers made in Greece last year was estimated at just 546 million euros, while Italy and Spain collected 5.4 billion and 1.4 billion euros respectively. In 2017 Greece only managed to absorb 0.6 percent of the global direct revenues from cruise tourism, although its international market share is far greater both in terms of ships visiting and passengers arriving.

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