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Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/28/2013 -- The Greece Tourism Report considers the prospects for the tourism sector over the longer term but focuses heavily on major short-term issues affecting the sector. In 2011, there was a strong rebound for inbound tourism to Greece, despite strikes and protests against government austerity measures eroding Greece's risk profile. Hospitality sector prices in key tourist locations have reportedly fallen sharply in an effective internal devaluation, illustrating one underlying issue behind this uptick in inbound tourism. Political unrest in North Africa was another reason, as it resulted in a shift in tourism demand, providing a short-term boost to Greek tourism. Despite this, BMI believes that a grim outlook for the eurozone - the country's key source region - will undermine prospects for Greek tourism in 2012 but recovery is expected from 2013. A full-blown economic depression in Greece will also ensure domestic tourism remains extremely weak.
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Using official data on the number of foreign visitors to Greece, the report also analyses the changing dynamics of major source markets, with Russia, for example, becoming increasingly important in the context of inbound tourism to Greece, though still not rivalling Germany and the UK, which are two of the most important source markets.
Latest figures on non-resident arrivals in H112 show the extent of the downturn in the tourism sector, with visitors numbers down 9% year-on-year (y-o-y). This was a slight improvement though on a 12% yo- y fall in Q112. After a considerable increase in Russian tourism to Greece in the previous two years, the number of tourists grew a more moderate 8% y-o-y in H112. A number of key source markets, such as France, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Italy and the Netherlands, all recorded significant y-o-y falls in arrivals. One relatively important source market that stands out against these negative trends is the UK, with the number of arrivals up a sizeable 16% y-o-y in H112. More recent data on the number of international tourist arrivals at the largest 15 airports during the period January-September 2012 underline weakness in the tourism sector, with visitors down by 2.5% y-o-y, but this is a slight improvement on the decline in H112.
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