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Greek 2012 tourism income may drop up to 15 pct

Industry official predicts a sizeable drop in overseas visitors for the debt-stricken country

Reuters, Thursday 7 Jun 2012
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Greek tourism revenues may plunge by up to 15 per cent this year, hurt by political uncertainty that has rekindled fears that the country may leave the euro amid a deepening debt crisis, an industry official said on Wednesday.

"We will see a considerable drop in tourism income," Andreas Andreadis, the head of Greece's tourism enterprises association (SETE) told Reuters. "A negative number, something like 10-15 percent."
 
In 2011, revenues rose by 10 per cent to 10.5 billion euros. About 1.5 million more tourists visited the country last year, largely due to lower fares and political uprisings in rival holiday destinations Egypt and Tunisia, bringing the total number of visitors to a record high of 16.5 million.
 
Accounting for about 15 per cent of output and one in five jobs, tourism is vital for Greece's economy. The latest estimates have dashed hopes that the country's ancient monuments and sun-drenched islands will be able to pull it out of the debt crisis. 
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