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2001 may prove difficult year for Greek tourism

International arrivals to Greece rose by 10.7% in 1999 compared to 4.7% in 1998…

International arrivals to Greece rose by 10.7% in 1999 compared to 4.7% in 1998. The 1999 figure represented the third consecutive increase in tourists, whose number rose to 11.9 million. These figures were presented by the country's Research Institute for Tourism (ITEP<.>) last week.



ITEP's latest report indicates that charter flights to major airports increased by 5.3% in the period January-September.



However, the predictions for 2001 do not appear as optimistic, despite the positive global economic situation.



Recent events in Greece, such as the tragic sinking of the passenger ferry Samina Express – in which over 80 died, have led to negative media reports which may well affect the local tourism industry in the long-term.



Furthermore, ITEP stressed that in order to encourage investment in the sector, various measures must be taken. These include the effective categorisation of accommodation, clarification of "saturated" tourist areas, efforts to ensure sustainability of tourism enterprises and a significant increase in advertising expenditure.

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