Greece missing out on cruises market rise
The last 10 years saw a reduction, of about 80%, in investments for port amenities aimed at servicing top-of-the-line cruise ships. As a result, currently recession-plagued Greece failed to take advantage of the skyrocking cruiseship sector in Europe.
The above is the conclusion of an experts’ meeting during the 3rd Posidonia Sea Tourism Forum completed Piraeus on Wednesday.
According to data, only a few of the 1,150 ports have the ability to receive large cruise ships, and most of those only rely on the most basic of amenities.
“Tourism means Greece, and Greece means tourism,” was the characteristic phrase by Michel Nestour, industry-leader Carnival’s vice president for global port and destination development in the EuroMed region.
Nestour decried the fact, as he said, that Greece has failed to exploit its natural beauty and ideal geographical position because it lacks “basic infrastructure”, which he said not only extend to port facilities but also mean deficiencies in road transports and air links with major markets. He said such infrastructure is necessary to attract the larger cruiseships.
Indicative of the lackluster air connection between Greek and the major US market is the fact that only 1.7 flights, on average, take place daily between Athens and New York city, which is the only regular direct route connecting the two countries…!