BUSINESS

Hoteliers can’t mask virus concerns

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism, Health

Greek tourism is on alert and trying to assess the possible impact on the sector from the coronavirus outbreak in China, after receiving almost 200,000 Chinese visitors last year, according to provisional estimates.

According to experts, there are two possible fronts that may open up for Greek tourism regarding the coronavirus: The first concerns a decline in visitors from China, who on average spend 30 percent more per capita than other nationalities, while the second has to do with a possible overall decline in international travel that would reduce the number of tourists from other markets too.

The longer and more serious the crisis from the virus turns out to be, the greater the blow will be to Greek tourism, hoteliers tell Kathimerini; they note isolated cancellations, though nothing large-scale or out of the ordinary.

The data on Chinese visitors to Greece in 2019 have not yet been finalized, but it is certain there was a considerable increase from 2018 thanks to the increase in air links and the popularity of the country in China.

It would follow a strong trail of growth in previous years, as Chinese arrivals posted a 27 percent increase in 2018 from 2017, to reach 134,570, after a 32 percent yearly jump in 2017.

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