ECONOMY

Greek tourism ready for another strong year, says Andreadis

Amid uncertainty about Greece’s political future, tourism chief Andreas Andreadis insists that the country’s tourism sector is on course for another strong year.

“With the increase in quality of our products and services, and competitive prices that have been further improved by the recent devaluation of the euro and falling oil prices, we are confident that we will be in a position to reach, and even surpass, our targets in 2015,” the head of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and Marketing Greece said in a statement on Monday.

Andreadis played down fears that if a leftist SYRIZA government were to emerge from the January 25 elections it could lead Greece to an exit from the eurozone, conceding that “the nature of much of the international media coverage of these elections has created an air of uncertainty in the mind of international public opinion regarding Greece.”

However, he said that he is confident demand for the Greek destination will pick up after the polls and arrivals will surpass last year’s record of 21.5 million visitors (up 20 percent from 2013) and 2.5 million cruise ship arrivals.

“The easing of pre-bookings toward the end of December – in large part due to reported Grexit fears – was outweighed by positive news from increased flight capacity planned for 2015 compared to 2014 for most Greek destinations and a very peaceful electoral process,” he said.

“We envisage, therefore, that the country will once again comfortably be among the leading 15 tourism destinations of the world, as measured by the UN’s World Tourism Organization,” Andreadis said.