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Newsletter October 2013


Tourism Numbers Demonstrate Vital Industry Strength

Greece’s leading role as a global tourism destination was strongly buttressed with a significant increase in tourist arrivals during Q1-3 in 2013.

Increase in Arrivals in the First Eight Months of 2013
Greece is approaching a record of 17.5 million visitors for 2013 with the recent 9.93% increase recorded in international arrivals in the first eight months of 2013 compared with the same period last year. The number of foreign tourists reached its peak in August and, based on preliminary figures from the international tourist arrivals in the major airports of the country, drawn up by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), 836,211 more visitors than last year came to Greece in the period January - August (9,258,856 compared to 8,422,645 in 2012).

"Air arrivals in the first eight months are looking very good," said president of SETE Andreas Andreadis, noting that "if increases in arrivals by other means follow (road - sea), it is almost certain that we will see a new record of 17.5 million international arrivals, and 11.5 billion Euro in direct revenue."

Specifically, in August of 2013 we recorded an increase of 10.49% compared to August of 2012, with 2,430,773 arrivals compared to 2,199,936 last year.

A record increase was recorded in Kalamata at 44.38% (42,822 arrivals compared to 29,659 in 2012), while Heraklion airport welcomed the bulk of visitors recording an increase of 16.44% with 1,873,635 arrivals compared to 1,609,146 in 2012. Other increases include:
• Mykonos at 24.75% (148,191 arrivals compared to 118,787 in 2012)
• Santorini at 19.44% (196,253 arrivals compared to 164,314 in 2012)
• Chania at 19.43% (648,197 arrivals compared to 542,756 in 2012)
• Kefalonia at 18,25 % (158.208 arrivals compared to 133,794 in 2012 )
• Zakynthos at 16.79% (394,100 arrivals compared to 337,452 in 2012)
• Kos at 13.72% (711,958 arrivals compared to 626,044 in 2012)
• Corfu at 11.96% (740,047 arrivals compared to 660,970 in 2012)
• Rhodes at 10.66% (1,358,965 arrivals compared to 1,228,037 in 2012)
• Araxos at 9.87 % (54,551 arrivals compared to 49.650 in 2012)
• Kavala at 3.12 % (57,644 arrivals compared to 55,900 in 2012)

Cruising Moves Forward
The cruise industry is evolving into an ever more important component of the Greek economy, as Greece is prominently located on the list of most popular destinations of cruise passengers in the world. Despite the financial crisis, the cruise industry is holding up and proving to be a rapidly growing sector in the tourism market.

Worldwide cruise passenger numbers have doubled during the last decade and now exceed 20 million annually. The Mediterranean is becoming a key destination, increasing its share in recent years of the global cruise market (21% in 2009 in comparison with 15% in 2004). The countries with the highest traffic in Europe are Italy, Spain and Greece—each attracting 2-2.5 million cruise tourists annually.

Estimates for this year are very positive, providing for an increase of 15% compared with the previous year. The port of Piraeus alone is expected to accommodate approximately 900 cruise ship arrivals, which will carry about 2.2 million passengers.

The rapid growth of the cruise industry in Greece is demonstrated by the arrival of new companies, including FTI Cruises in 2012, the Disney Cruise Line and Paul Gauguin Cruises in 2013, as well as the presence of new ships who traveled Mediterranean routes for the first time this year.

The first destination in the world remains the Caribbean and the second is the Eastern Mediterranean, with a central axis being the port of Piraeus. The decision of the Disney Cruise Line to initiate Greek travel packages to destinations in the Mediterranean, for example, creates multiple benefits. Since two out of five cruise passengers are American, this increase in arrivals creates room for greater penetration of the Greek tourism product by the U.S. market.

There has been impressive growth in the cruise industry for several destinations in Greece, including Corfu. 73 cruises in July brought 106,665 passengers to Greek ports, in comparison with 65 cruises and 86,724 passengers the same month of the previous year.

However, the increase in cruise passengers is not met with a corresponding increase in revenue, providing opportunities for growth. Greece can be an extremely attractive cruise destination but to date fails to fully absorb tourist revenues, as the Greek ports are not yet selected as embarkation points (home ports). This is crucial, as the average spend per passenger is approximately 600 Euro for embarkation ports (fuel, leisure, dining, and accommodation costs) versus 80 Euro for transit ports (ports of call). The vast majority of Greek ports are now mainly transit ports. If two thirds of cruise passengers visiting Greece started from Greek ports, annual revenues could surpass 1.2 billion Euro in 2016.

The additional direct annual benefit for the Greek economy from the cruise industry can rise from 300 million to 1.3 billion Euro in the next five years. Of the approximately 36 billion Euro spent in European ports via the global cruise industry, today Greece is receiving only 600 million Euro, due to limited home-porting, as well as lack of adequate infrastructure in most of the 57 ports in the country.

Significant Increases in Visitors to Athens and Greece’s International Airports
Air arrivals in Heraklion, Crete increased by about 15%, reaching 532,746 passengers compared with 467,424 in the same period of 2012. Arrivals on Rhodes increased by about 13% reaching 407,199 compared with 360,604 in 2012.

In Athens, according to data from the International Airport of Athens, there was also an increase recorded for the May – August period by 6.5%.

Arrivals (by country of departure) were:
• Russia: 100,971
• Germany: 79,083
• UK: 69,864
• France: 53,024
• Israel: 38,731
• Italy: 30,247
• Netherlands: 24,756

Tourists who visited Athens amounted to 1.7 million this summer, exceeding last year's arrivals by 6.5%, confirming that the Greek capital is recovering as a tourist destination.

The overall passenger traffic at Athens International Airport during this period amounted to 5.3 million passengers.

The most striking increase in foreign passengers during the May - August 2013 summer season came from the United Arab Emirates (69%) and from non-European Union countries (22%), such as Switzerland (41%) and Turkey (27%). Moreover, tourism from markets such as Russia and Ukraine shows continuous growth.

There’s also a strong recovery in passenger traffic from destinations, such as Australia, Canada and the United States, with an increase of 19%, 45%, and 9% respectively.

The positive developments in foreign passengers' traffic were evident through the particularly high load of international flights, which reached 83% throughout the summer season (May-August 2013).

Threefold Increase in Net Profit for the Greek Pharmaceutical Industry in 2012
The Greek pharmaceutical industry, despite the crisis, managed not only to maintain, but to even increase profits over the past year. It is indicative that the industry tripled its net profit in 2012 (3.6%) compared with 2011 (1.2%).

A further increase is expected for 2013 since the first half of the year indicated an increase in the volume of production by 10.7%, according to data from the Greek Statistical Authority.

The analysis of the financial data of 24 companies reveals that total sales amounted to 1.35 billion Euro and increased by 2% compared with the year 2011. The net profits for 2012, after provision for taxes, is 48.8 million Euro and equal to 3.6% of sales, compared to 1.2% in 2011. At the same time, total liabilities of these companies increased by 1% (11.2 million Euro).

First on the list of profitable companies is Boehringer Ingelheim Hellas SA, the largest export pharmaceuticals, with sales of 244.41 million- increased compared to 215.30 million in 2011. In second place is Vianex SA with sales of 240.19 million- decreased compared with the 301.90 million of 2011.

Pharmathen (sales of 149.32 million Euro), Famar (120.80 million), Elpen (115.33 million) and Demo (107.03 million) follow.

The top-ten list also included Lavipharm (39.13 million, reduced compared to 2011 (46.97 million) by 16.7 %), Pharmaten International AU, with sales of 38.81 million Euro, an increase of 110.9 %, Galenica AE, with sales of 36.26 million, and Uni-Pharma ABEE, with sales of 33.84 million.

The next ten Greek companies include Rafarm, with sales of Euro  32.70 million, Cana with 27.34 million, Vioser with 26.17 million, Genepharm AE with 25.52 million, Help ABEE with 15.85 million, Gerolymatos International SA with 15.62 million, Anfarm with 15.78 million, Petsiavas N. SA with 15.08 million, Norma Hellas SA with 13 million, Koper with 12.29 million, Tseti I. & E. SA with 9.08 million, Berma Drugs with 8.26 million , Adelco SA with 6.39 million, and Doctum Pharmaceuticals SA , with sales of 5.87 million Euro.

Greece Gains in Competitiveness
Greece gained five places in the global list of competiveness according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2013-2014 of the World Economic Forum, ranking 91st among 148 countries, up from 96th among 146 countries last year.

Greece's rating was 3.93, based on a scale from 1-7, reflecting its performance in 12 indexes: institutions, infrastructure, macro-economic environment, health and education, higher education and vocational training, efficiency in product markets, efficiency in labour market, financial market development, technological readiness, market size, business expertise and innovation.

Greece moved higher in the international listing in the sectors of health and education (35th place), infrastructure (38th), technological readiness (39th), higher education and vocational training (41st) and market size (47th).

It ranked below average in the sectors of business expertise (83rd) and innovation (87th), institutions (103rd) and product market efficiency (108th), while it ranked low in the sectors of macro-economic environment (147th), financial market development (138th) and labour market efficiency (127th).

Switzerland, Singapore and Finland were the top three countries in the WEF list of competitiveness. Germany ranked fourth (from sixth), followed by the US, Sweden, Hong Kong, Holland, Japan and the UK.

September 5, 2013
(Source: ANA)