Greece is waiving aircraft landing, takeoff and stopover fees from April until the end of the year in an effort to boost tourism to the financially beleaguered country.
The Greek transport ministry said the waiver will apply to all airports except for Athens. The measure should help operators which are beginning to see Greece regaining popularity as holidaymakers seek an alternative to Egypt and Tunisia following political unrest in the north African countries.
Greek tourism revenues fell by 20% last year following increased regional competition, strikes and anti-austerity protests. Tourism accounts for one in five jobs and 20% of the country’s GDP.
Tourism minister Pavlos Geroulanos reportedly said recently: “The combination of factors [against the sector] was like the perfect storm. Our priority this year is to make things better.”
Nikos Kanellopoulos, president of Greek tourism organisation EOT told the financial daily Naftemporiki: “There is a 20% rise in visitors from Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Russia. Israel is also showing increased interest in Greece.”
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