People, Travel

Greece Braces for Cruise Tourism Slump

Greece is hoping to bolster traffic from China, Russia and India.Greece is hoping to bolster traffic from China, Russia and India.

Cruise tourism activity is projected to record a 15% decline this year as the sector is going through a recession in the Eastern Mediterranean, the head of the Union of Cruise Ship Owners & Associated Members said.

Theodore Kontes added that the domestic uncertainty, migration crisis and terrorism in neighboring countries, as well as the civil war in Syria and instability in Egypt, Lebanon and Israel, have forced cruise companies and tour operators to change their destinations for 2017, reported.

“We are happy to see an increase in the tourism flow to Greece, but we cannot feel certain about further growth as things stand,” Kontes said.

Despite Greece experiencing a temporary rise in cruise passenger visits in 2015 (reaching 4.176 million), problems last year in neighboring Turkey–Greece’s partner in cruise tourism packages–led to a significant decline, a trend that looks set to continue this year, too.

Kontes said the sector is trying to contain losses from major established markets while striving to bolster traffic from other countries such as China, Russia, India and others in Asia that are showing a keen interest in Greece and are directing tourism groups to this country.


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