Greece’s tourism industry to suffer effects of Russian invasion of Ukraine

 Tuesday, March 1, 2022 


Greece has been preparing to enjoy the benefits of an increased tourist influx this summer, however, the inevitable consequences of the Russian invasion in Ukraine are already being felt.

Aside from a wave of cancellations into spring and summer, global price hikes and soaring energy costs hitting Europe and America are two more variables affecting Greece’s tourism industry.

Tez Tour Greece CEO Dimitris Haritidis told Kathimerini that projections for this year had pointed to some 100,000 tourism arrivals from Ukraine on Crete; according to how popular the island has been for that country.

Russian visitors had been a massive source of income in Greece sitting at 1.3 million in 2013 and dropping to just under 600,000 after the first sanctions from the West back in 2019.

Tez Tour was also looking to bring some 125,000 Russian tourists to Crete. Similar numbers were also expected on Rhodes island, another popular destination for Russian and Ukrainian tourists, according to a Russian publication.

The Greek National Tourism Organisation had set a limit of 500,000 arrivals for 2022, with several bookings on a waitlist. All bookings have been frozen while airfare and energy costs keep going up.

Fraport Greece’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Zinell admitted that such a scenario could limit Greece’s competitiveness as a destination due to its proximity to the crisis.

It is too early to make any safe statements today over the consequences on tourism.

It will all be assessed in the coming weeks, said the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Yiannis Retsos, in a social media post.

The sharp rise in energy rates since the invasion looks likely to curtail the disposable incomes of households making plans to travel to Greece for their holidays.

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