by Des Ryan
Once considered the iconic sailing heaven of the world, Greece's woes are being worsened by the lack of visiting sailors. With constant world news about the instability in Greece, made large by nightly television coverage, yachts are avoiding Greece in favour of more peaceful destinations like Turkey, Croatia or Montenegro.
Sailing Greece by Stamatis
The subject was discussed thoroughly this week at the 20th general meeting of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), according to Greek news outlet ekathimerini.com.
Delegates at the meeting were told that yachting tourism has suffered huge losses this year in Greece, bookings having dropped by as much as 50 percent compared to last year.
Bookings from abroad have declined considerably, and this was directly attributed to the political and economic instability in the country.
Foreigners who arrive into Greece to charter a yacht stay in hotels for several days before and after their yachting holiday.
So the decline in sailing also affects hotel bookings. The flow of new hotel bookings since the May 6 general election has shrunk by as much as 30 to 50 percent, depending on the destination, the meeting heard.
Hoteliers in Athens have reported a 35 percent drop in bookings since the elections.