Impact on tourism seen as short-lived

The effects on Greek tourism of Thursday’s terrorist attacks in London will only be short-lived, Tourism Development Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos said yesterday. «The tourism market has been shocked by what happened in London, but a positive climate will return soon,» he said after meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. Avramopoulos said Greek tourism is on the rebound this year. The former Athens mayor had previously sent a message of condolences and solidarity to London Mayor Ken Livingstone. Separately, Greek travel agents said they are not worried about cancellations from Britain. Hellenic Association of Tourism and Travel Agents (HATTA) President Yiannis Evangelou told Kathimerini it may be too early to draw any safe conclusions about the travel behavior of Britons in the aftermath of the attacks, but a provisional assessment suggested Greece would suffer only minor fallout from the latest turmoil in the global tourism industry. Very few cancellations were recorded until yesterday for trips this weekend, and in no way do they constitute a wave of cancellations. Evangelou stressed Greece has an additional advantage compared with other destinations, as everyone abroad is now confident that it is one of the safest destinations in the world, following the successful and safe hosting of the Olympic Games. Attica Hoteliers Association President Giorgos Tsakiris said that «we should wait for the next few days to see the size of the impact on the world’s tourism industry.» Between 2.5 and 2.7 million British tourists visit Greece every year, while some 75,000 Greeks travel to the UK for tourism annually. About 200-300 Greeks were in London on Thursday on package tours.

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