ECONOMY

Tourism alone defies the recession

tourism-alone-defies-the-recession

Greek tourism has shown remarkable resilience this year as it managed to shield itself from the problems that the unstable political and economic climate has created in the domestic economy.

Data released on Wednesday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) showed that arrivals at Greek hotels and campsites in the January-September period rose 4.3 percent from the same time last year, exceeding 16 million. There was also a 2.2 percent increase in the number of nights tourists spent at local hotels and campsites, coming close to 69.5 million.

The growth rates in the number of hotel guests and overnight stays are far smaller than the rise in air arrivals to Greece, showing that unlicensed accommodation units remain a problem, concerning millions of overnight stays by tourists in Greece and a huge amount in unpaid taxes.

The expected rise in the number of illegal accommodation units next year is expected to exacerbate the phenomenon, unless the Economy and Tourism Ministry quickly moves ahead with regulations that will impose tax equality and common operation rules across the accommodation spectrum.