Royal Caribbean has advised Greece to invest more in its ports if it wants to survive in the cruise business.
Speaking at a recent tourism conference in Athens, the company’s Vice President Commercial & New Business Development, John Tercek, said that Greece must modernise and expand its ports if it wants to get its share of the cruise business.
Tercek noted that, while some Greek cruise destinations such as Piraeus, Santorini, Heraklion, Chania, Corfu and Katakolon can best attract the interest of cruise companies, others, such as Rhodes and Mykonos, need more modern infrastructure to support the growing demand and accommodate the larger cruise ships.
Global competition for cruise ships is on the rise and Tercek noted that Australia’s cruise tourism has increased by 77% over the last 10 years and that demand is still increasing.
Greece had about 2.5 million cruise visitors in 2014, significantly fewer than other Mediterranean countries – namely Italy and Spain.
Tercek said the big disadvantage for Greece is most cruises do not home port from there. Last year only 212,000 passengers departed from Greek ports whereas 2 million left from Italy.