Tourism will not fall by over 10 pct this year, gov’t says

The drop in tourism will not reach double digits this year, Tourism Minister Costas Markopoulos forecast yesterday. He appeared optimistic at a press conference after January-May data had shown arrivals by air to have posted an annual drop of just 8.8 percent. Markopoulos said this came in contrast with expectations that had put the drop in tourism arrivals at up to 20 percent, adding that domestic tourism will also reach high levels this year. Despite the tough period in the last few months with the low levels of bookings, Greek tourism had stood firm, said Markopoulos, who chose not to make a forecast about the course of foreign exchange inflows from the industry. He also confirmed that the Tourism Development Company (ETA) will merge with the Greek Public Real Estate Corporation (KED).