ECONOMY

Greek ports to suffer from Mideast strife

Next year will be more difficult for cruise tourism in Greece due to the negative political climate in the broader region of the Southeastern Mediterranean, according to the chairman and chief executive of the Iraklio Port Authority, Yiannis Bras.

The situation in countries such as Egypt and Syria has discouraged the major international cruise operators from strengthening their schedules in the region for next year, according to Bras, who is also vice president of the Greek Ports Association.

Several cruise firms have in fact reduced their activity in the Eastern Mediterranean, instead boosting their schedules for the western side of the basin, while at least one company has opted to organize cruise trips to Asian destinations.

This means that Greek destinations will be affected and will not be able to match this year’s major growth levels.

From January to the end of October this year, the number of cruise passenger arrivals rose by 30.7 percent from the same period last year, reaching 247,302, out of which 55,278 passengers were on home porting cruises – i.e. starting and finishing at the Cretan capital.