The tourism sector experienced a continued decline in the first five months of 2012, according to a survey carried out by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts for the Hotel Chamber of Greece that was unveiled on Tuesday. This showed that the sector’s indicators declined further in April and May relative to the first quarter of the year.
The biggest reduction in tourist arrivals was in the islands of the northern Aegean (roughly 50 percent) and the Peloponnese (40 percent) but the reduction was smaller for hotels on Crete (10 percent).
The survey stressed that the political uncertainty, especially after the May 6 elections affected the year’s overall results, which will see the tourism revenues decline because there is not enough time for the climate to improve.
The hotel chamber said that bookings fell by at least 10 percent in 2012 and revenue by 15-20 percent, with hotels in Athens hardest hit. The sharp fall in domestic tourism was another major factor, they added.
Advance bookings for the summer months (June-September) also fell by 32.5 percent relative to 2011, mainly due to the greatly reduced number of Greeks planning holidays.
Foreign tourists have also been affected by negative press speculating Greece’s exit from the euro, with the greatest fall in advance bookings in the Pelopponese, central Greece, Attica and the Cyclades islands. The reduction in these areas is around 40 percent, while northern Greece and Thessaly show reductions of 25 percent, Crete 20 percent and the Dodecanese islands 15 percent.