Greek Tourism Drops Due to Grexit Scenarios and Russian Crisis
Greek tourism hit a new record in 2014 thanks to the large amount of foreign tourist arrivals that boosted the country’s overall income and created jobs. However, according to travel agents, Greek tourism may not be as successful in 2015, since the political turmoil and Grexit scenarios, in combination with the Russian crisis, have played a significant role in the decrease of pre-booking.
In 2014, Greece was included in the top 15 tourist destinations, and given the drop in the euro exchange rate and oil prices, Greeks believed that booking would be going through the roof by now. Unfortunately that will not be happening any time soon.
Pre-booking has come to a halt over the last month, after several negative press publications regarding Greece’s possible exit from the Eurozone (Grexit). Meanwhile, the promising Russian market is not showing any sign of encouragement, since many travel agents have closed down their businesses.
According to data released by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) a total of 14.5 million international airline arrivals were recorded at Greece’s 17 major airports, with more than 50% being from countries outside the euro. Greece was mostly popular among tourist from the UK, Russia and the United States.
Even though the euro exchange rate drop would be a good opportunity for Greece to attract more tourists, the political instability is not helping the situation. On the contrary, it was established that many tourists have shown interest in other Mediterranean countries such as Spain, Italy and southern France, because they want to ensure that they will spend their vacation quietly, without potential strikes, protests and social disruption.