ECONOMY

Growing benefits from cruise tourism

The new cruise tourism season has started with the best possible signs for a robust year, which are expected to translate into considerable revenues for the economies of the ports of call.

An event held on Wednesday to provide information on the Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum, scheduled for May 28-29, heard that cruise ship passengers spend an average of 99 euros per person during visits to ports, which breaks down to 80 percent for the local economy and 20 percent for the port itself, according to Theodore Vokos, the director of Posidonia Exhibitions.

The number of cruise ship passengers stopping at Piraeus in the first quarter of the year soared by 24.5 percent compared to the same period last year, rising to 48,144 from 38,678 in the January-March 2012 period.

Vokos added that the Mediterranean constitutes the second most popular cruise destination in the world, with an average of 6 million tourists per year.