Arrivals by ferry from Italy posted 14 pct drop in Jan-Apr

The number of arrivals by ferry at Greek ports recorded a decline in the first four months of the year on an annual basis, as did the number of visitors coming over to Greece from Italy by ferry, according to data released on Friday by the SETE Intelligence unit of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises.

Arrivals at Greek ports totaled 1,339,94 7in the period from January to April, posting a 3.5 percent decline from the same period in 2014. In January the decline amounted to 4 percent, in February to 11 percent, in March to 2.4 percent and in April to 0.6 percent.

The decline in that four-month spell at the ports of the popular Cyclades islands came to 1.5 percent year-on-year (608,822 arrivals). On Crete arrivals declined by a remarkable 11.8 percent, coming to 461,131, while international arrivals from the Italian ports (Ancona, Brindisi, Bari, Venice and Ravenna) posted a 14 percent drop from last year to 201,521.

Separately, SETE cited figures from the Social Security Foundation (IKA) to illustrate tourism’s contribution to employment. They showed that last year the volume of employment (in days of work) expanded by 23 percent on an annual basis. In July 2014 there were some 137,000 more salaried jobs (up by 36 percent from 2013) than a year earlier, exceeding the 500,000-job level that corresponds to a third of the entire private sector’s employment.

The total salaries paid to workers in the domain amounted to 3.8 billion euros last year, growing by half a billion from the previous year. In the accommodation sector the average monthly salary exceeded 1,000 euros. Total social security contributions to IKA rose 200 million euros to reach 1.6 billion euros.