Cruise optimism for 2023

Cruise optimism for 2023

More cruise ships came to Greece in 2022, but with fewer passengers, as the industry has not yet recovered fully from the pandemic. Still, the Hellenic Ports Association (ELIME) is optimistic about the trend of total revenue from cruise tourism.

Given that the average size of cruise ships has increased internationally in recent years, it becomes clear that the cause of the above is the low occupancy of the ships. Even so, however, the burden on destinations that have now become negative examples of hypertourism, such as Mykonos and Santorini, was especially evident during the summer months, strengthening the voices of residents and agencies for the establishment of strict limits on the disembarkation of day visitors.

As for the prospects for 2023, ELIME characterizes them as favorable based on the available data, recording average growth of approximately 15% in bookings in almost all destinations.

It is also noted that in many Greek destinations the construction and upgrading of cruise infrastructure and services are under way, as well as projects related to the digital and green transition of ports. However, the effects of these initiatives, if successful, will take several years to be felt and relieve congested destinations, market sources say.

According to ELIME, which compiles the relevant statistics, in the year 2022 total arrivals of cruise ships at Greek ports amounted to 4,614 and the number of passengers to 4,381,876.

In the last year before the pandemic, 2019, the number of arrivals had been 3,979 ships and passengers numbered 5,552,384. Nevertheless, the increase in arrivals compared to 2021 was huge and amounted to 123.5%, while the increase in passengers was even greater at 209%.

According to ELIME, “a particularly crucial element is the fact that with reference year 2019 the number of cruise ship arrivals increased by 16%, while with the integration of the final data for Piraeus Port Authority, for which these data relate to the nine months to September 30, the increase compared to 2019 is expected to reach 20%.”

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