ECONOMY

Bookings are showing rise of 15-20 pct

The signs from tourism bookings for this year are very encouraging as they are showing an increase of 15 to 20 percent from last year from all markets, according to the general secretary for tourism, Apostolos Liaskos.

Addressing a general meeting of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Liaskos also said the targets of 17 million visitors from abroad and revenues of 11 billion euros this year are attainable.

The head of the chamber, Giorgos Tsakiris, presented data that shows tourist expenditure declined by 5 percent last year compared with 2011, amounting to 10.02 billion. Overnight stays dropped 7 percent, amounting to 141 million, and arrivals fell 6 percent to 15.5 million.

Arrivals from abroad posted a major decline in January 2013, mostly concerning the terminals in Athens and Thessaloniki, according to the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE). The number of arrivals declined by 28,460, reaching 162,954 down from 191,414 in January 2012. Arrivals a Athens International Airport contracted by 16 percent year-on-year while those flying in to Thessaloniki shrunk by 13 percent.