Soaring oil and natural gas rates, after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, are creating a major barrier to a return to normality for the tourism and air transport sectors after the two-year pandemic, along with increasing inflationary pressure.
Although tourism professionals are still waiting to see how bookings and arrivals will pan out due to the war, given that the tourism season has not yet started, the price hikes are already here and biting.
Inflation dents disposable incomes, which are the source of tourism revenues. Airplane tickets are also on the rise, as International Air Transport Association (IATA) figures show that aviation fuel has increased 4% this month compared to January, and 57% compared to February 2021. Although airlines usually hedge their risks, having already secured the bulk of their fuel needs well in advance, problems are inevitable.
The tourism industry will also have to adjust its plans and prices following the new conditions in Europe, to say nothing of the areas of Greece that benefit significantly from Russian and Ukrainian tourism, such as Crete. And this in a period when the tourism sector has not yet recovered fully from the blow of the pandemic.