While the messages for Greece’s tourism market are more than optimistic this year, domestic tourism appears to be the biggest loser. Greeks due to their bad financial situation won’t have the luxury to take a vacation this year and will have to content themselves with houses in the countryside or friends’ houses.
Despite the fact that the year started with a negative trend for tourism, it seems probable that Greece will break the record of 17 million tourists. It is uncertain though whether profits will be equally high or rather low, as prices have been receiving a great deal of pressure due to the increasing preference in all inclusive holiday packages.
Data from all available sources show that the first picture is not encouraging. According to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), arrivals at the fifteen biggest airports of the country, which account for 95 percent of the total air arrivals and for 72 percent of the total arrivals (with all means of transport), show a drop of 8 percent in the first four months of 2013. In addition, data released by the Bank of Greece show a rise in the travel movement of almost five percent for the first three months of 2013, with a parallel reduction in the travel revenues of the country that reach 4 percent.
Predictions made by SETE include not only the arrival of seventeen million tourists, but also revenues of 11 billion euros, a target that seems hard to be achieved, due to the low prices at which Greece’s tourist product is now offered.