Fiscal news may bolster tourism

The president of the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation, Yiannis Retsos, said recently that once the debt swap and the new bailout package are confirmed for Greece, the country?s tourism could find itself back on a northbound course.

Retsos told Kathimerini that bookings from abroad for 2012 are currently seriously lagging, but ?when the PSI and bailout processes are successfully concluded, we shall see what the markets? reaction will be and whether there is an actual lag.?

While conceding that the bookings picture is also affected by conditions in other European economies, the head of Greece?s hoteliers suggested that a more accurate estimate on the course of the country?s tourism this year cannot be made before early March.

?Anyway, this is set to be the year that is the hardest to predict,? he added.

Last year Cyprus and Turkey secured higher rates in their tourism revenue growth than Greece, while Spain retained the lead in Southern Europe as far as numbers are concerned.