Athens.- The Ministry for Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism reassures visitors to Greece that hotels, restaurants, shops and supermarkets have adequate food supplies, the prices of which have remained stable if not reduced as in the case of fresh fruit and vegetables. This is also the case for fuel, as gas stations are adequately stocked and prices remain unchanged.
Any reports stating the opposite are not reflecting the actual situation on the ground.
The Ministry for Economy via the General Secretariat for Commerce is working closely with local authorities and food companies and has taken all the necessary steps to ensure the supply of goods to the Greek market continues to operate as normal so that demand is entirely covered not only for the Greek people but also for the numerous visitors who have chosen Greece for their holidays.
Tourism is the only engine powering the economy at the moment, as virtually all other sectors have slipped into a stagnation that is dragging the country back into recession. Evidence of the sector’s strength could be seen in data issued on Thursday that showed an increase in tourism traffic and car registrations as well as a drop in the unemployment and consumer price indices in recent months.
Deflation persisted for a 28th month, with prices dropping 2.2 percent year-on-year in June, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) reported, adding that service prices went down and food grew more expensive. It also said that unemployment fell to 25.6 percent in April from 25.8 percent the previous month, as seasonal jobs flourished.
The Bank of Greece reported 45.6 percent annual growth in tourism arrivals in the first quarter of the year, and a 9.5 percent increase in revenues, while Athens International Airport yesterday announced a 21.4 annual rise in last month’s passenger traffic. Tourism growth also led new car registrations to increase 21.7 percent in June year-on-year, according to ELSTAT.
Greece’s debt crisis has hit tourism, with last-minute bookings falling sharply, although the impact on the industry may be limited because the flareup has come late in the season when most summer holidays are already booked.
The Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) said it has seen a 30 percent drop in last-minute bookings, which typically account for one-fifth of bookings to the country.
“We believe that a swift conclusion to the Greek government’s negotiations with the country’s creditors would still give us sufficient time to make up for the loss – as far as possible – in last-minute bookings,” Andreas Andreadis, chairman of the association, said.
Travel website Opodo.de said Greece flight bookings from Germany, which had been tracking the levels of the previous year, suddenly dropped off after June 26, when talks broke down between Greece and its eurozone creditors.
Between June 27 and July 6, daily flight bookings have been down most days by around 30-35 percent from the previous year, with one day showing a decrease of 68 percent, it said in data made available to Reuters.
Other German travel sites Kayak.de and Swoodoo.com, part of the Priceline Group, said in the week before Sunday’s referendum searches for flights to Greece were down 8 percent compared with the previous year.
The reduction in bookings from Germans has been particularly sharp.
Passenger traffic in Greek airports up 14.6 pct in Jan-June
Passenger traffic in all Greek airports grew 14.6 pct in the first half of 2015, compared with the same period last year, totaling 18.7 million passengers, while the number of scheduled and charter flights rose 8.7 pct in the January-June period, official figures showed on Friday.
A report by the Civil Aviation Authority said that the number of flights in Greek airports totaled 179,343 in the first six months of 2015, of which 84,360 were domestic and the remaining 94,983 international flights (11.0 pct increase and 6.8 pct rise, respectively compared with 2014).
The number of passengers totaled 18.7 million, up 14.6 pct from the same period in 2014. In June the number of flights (domestic and international) grew 5.7 pct while passenger traffic rose 13.05 pct. The Athens, Thessaloniki and Chania airports recorded the biggest passenger increase in June.