Greek tourism sheds more than 19,000 jobs


ATHENS – Greece’s tourism industry has shed more than 19,000 jobs after arrivals at airports dropped by nearly a tenth in the first six months of the year, a trade group said on Tuesday.

The country’s 13 biggest airports, which account for the bulk of tourism traffic, saw a total of 3.9 million arrivals in the period, down 9.6 percent from last year, said the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).

‘This decline means a loss of more than 560,000 tourists, which in turn translates into a loss of more than 19,000 jobs,’ said SETE, whose members employ more than 350,000 people.

The industry’s revenue losses exceeded 10 percent as Greek hotels and travel agencies slash prices to attract visitors, SETE said.

The data adds to evidence that Greece may face its first recession since 1993. With about 15 million visitors each year, Greece is one of Europe’s biggest tourism destinations and the industry accounts for about a fifth of the country’s GDP.