The president of Greece’s hotelier’s federation, Yiannis Retsos, on Wednesday warned of “non-existent prospects” for further growth in the country’s all-important tourism sector in 2017.
Retsos, who said he remains optimistic, nevertheless ticked off several challenges facing the tourism sector in the coming year, including the fact that regional market rival Turkey is looking to rebound next year, after a particularly anemic 2016.
He also said a continuing trend of increasing business taxes deprives Greek entrepreneurs and professionals of “competitive tools”, whereas the general state of the economy and an asphyxiated domestic credit markets has “frozen” investments in new units and renovations to older units.
He warned that Greece still remains more expensive than its primary rivals, although the possibility of further price cuts is slim, something that generates a negative prospect for 2017.
His comments come after preliminary figures showed that although tourist arrivals increased in Greece over the first eight months of 2016, compared to the same period in 2015, revenues in the sector fell – over the first seven-month period — whereas final data later in the year may also show less overnight stays by tourists.
Figures through July showed 346 million euros less in revenue from tourism, compared to Jan-Jul 2015.