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Tourist flow down 7.2% in Q1

03/06/2009 13:49
The domestic tourism sector is apparently suffering from the effects of the ongoing global economic crisis, a report by the Institute for Touristic Research and Forecasts (ITEP) stated on Monday.

The report said that based on available figures so far this year, Croatia (-21 pct) and Portugal (-22 pct) have suffered the sharpest decline in tourist arrivals, followed by Spain (11.9 pct) and Greece (7.3 pct). The crisis has also hit Turkey (-0.5 pct), a country with an annual average growth rate of more than 15 pct in the last few years.

ITEP said Greece was affected more in tourism foreign exchange receipts (down 18.2 pct) in the first quarter of the year, although it predicted that this rate would improve in the four-month period from January to April helped by higher tourist arrivals during the Easter period.

Greek airports (excluding Athens) recorded a 3.0-pct decline in arrivals in the January-April period, while the Athens International Airport reported a 9.8-pct drop in arrivals, for a total decline of 7.0 pct in the country. These figures showed that convention and business tourism in Athens and Thessaloniki was suffering more compared with the country's major travel destinations.

The Dodecanese islands recorded an 18.5-pct increase in tourism arrivals in the first four months of 2009 (mainly Rhodes, up 26.4 pct), followed by Hania (+23 pct), although Santorini (-69.8 pct), Mykonos (-45.4 pct), Hios (-38.6 pct), Cephalonia (-26.7 pct), Kos (-20.7 pct) and Corfu (-19.7 pct) posted hefty decreases.