Early hopes for new records during the current tourism season in terms of arrivals and travel receipts have been rekindled, as tourism has shown strong resistance to pressures generated by the capital controls, according to industry experts.
The president of the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, told Kathimerini that the original high targets set for incoming tourism could be attained unless there is more political or economic turbulence in the country before the end of the season, such as a new election. In practice, that means arrivals amounting to or exceeding 25 million and tourism revenues of around 14 billion euros.
Andreadis added that tourism withstood the turbulence created when the capital controls were introduced in late June, mainly thanks to the decline in the price of Greek packages in foreign markets. Several areas of Greece have managed to offset the losses caused by cancellations from the domestic market by drawing foreign tourists with discounts and special offers.
Among the factors that have helped tourism this summer are air arrivals, which have posted a significant increase, and the favorable exchange rate for travellers from the US and Britain, said Andreadis.
Airports around Greece presented a mixed picture last month, as Rhodes recorded a 2 percent dip from July 2014 to 411,114, with Russian visitors dropping 51.5 percent, while Zakynthos reported a 7.6 percent rise to 150,964, capitalizing on an 11.3 percent increase from Britain, 35.8 percent from Germany and a spectacular 70.9 percent rise from Poland. Russian arrivals to Zakynthos decreased 82.5 percent.