Domestic tourism to fall 20 pct in 2011

Domestic tourism is expected to fall by 20 pct this year, compared with 2010, Andreas Andreadis, president of the Panhellenic Federation of Hoteliers said on Wednesday.

Andreadis said although this trend was not expected to significantly affect total tourism figures, it raised doubts over the viability of mostly medium-sized hotels which were exclusively dependent on domestic tourism The rent room sector, which attracts the majority of Greek tourists has 40,000 enterprises with 500,000 beds, or 50 pct of the touristic potential of the country, offering more than 100,000 jobs.

Andreadis said increasing insecurity of Greek citizens over their finances would greatly limit domestic tourism this year, despite an expected recovery in incoming tourism in the country.

Domestic tourism fell 5.3 pct in early last year, recording declines of 12.8 pct in the summer season and falling by 11.3 pct in the September-December period. It was the Greek tourist, however, who helped the country's tourism industry in 2009 helping to raise -slightly- overnight stays in Greek hotels and campings, according to figures released by Hellenic Statistical Authority. Overnight stays in hotels and campings grew 0.6 pct in 2009, with Greek tourists rising 9.6 pct and foreign tourists falling 2.7 pct in the year.

Business briefs

-- National Bank Group - Greece’s largest banking group - on Wednesday said its net profit before an extraordinary tax charge totaled 485 million euros in 2010, down 50 pct from the previous year, while net profit after an extraordinary tax charge fell 56 pct to 406 million euros. NBG said net interest income rose 5.0 pct to 4.148 billion euros, with interest margin remaining unchanged at 4.0 pct.

-- Lamda Development on Wednesday said consolidated after-tax and minorities results showed a loss of 29.1 million euros in 2010, after a profit of 7.7 million euros in the previous year. The group attributed these negative results to a loss of 39.3 million euros in the commercial evaluation of its real estate assets reflecting a negative economic environment in the country, while an extra tax charge of 2.6 million euros also burdened its 2010 results.

-- Marfin Investment Group (MIG) on Wednesday announced a capital boosting scheme worth 941.5 million euros in a move aimed to take advantage of any investment opportunities appearing in the market this year. A board meeting approved a share capital increase plan, worth 256,776,061 euros, which envisages the issuing a new shares to be offered in exchange for three existing ones at a price of 1.0 euros per share.

-- Job losses in the manufacturing sector dramatically exceeded average job losses in the industrial sector last year, hit by an unprecedented economic recession in the country, the Hellenic Statistical Authority said on Wednesday. In a report, the statistics service said a total of 125 workers per day, or 3,740 per month, on average, lost their positions last year in the industrial sector, with this number rising to 182 per day, or 5,460 per month, in the fourth quarter of 2010.

-- Pharmaceutical products and foods/beverages topped the list of Greek export products in 2010, the Panhellenic Exporters’ Federation announced on Wednesday. In a report, the Federation said the list of export products, which did not include oil products, showed that pharmaceutical products remained at the top for the second consecutive year, with a value of exports totaling 555 million euros, followed by fish products (405 million).

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