The month-to-month declines should be very worrisome to a country that relies on tourism for almost a fifth of its GDP and a fifth of its jobs.
By Natalie Weeks
International arrivals at Greek airports fell 5.1 percent in the first five months of the year, according to the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises.
The number of people arriving from abroad declined to 2.27 million in the five months, from 2.39 million in the year- earlier period, the association said in a statement on its website today.
In May, international arrivals dropped 6.7 percent to 1.18 million. Thirteen airports that account for 95 percent of air arrivals from abroad were surveyed.
Athens International Airport, Greece’s biggest, saw a 13 percent drop in the five months, to 804,162, and a 17 percent decline in May. Traffic has slumped as the economic crisis hits travel spending across Europe and protests dent Greece’s image abroad, the airport said in a statement last month.
Tourism, Greece’s biggest industry, accounted for almost 16 percent of gross domestic product and almost one in five jobs in 2011, according to the London-based World Travel and Tourism Council.
–Editors: Alan Purkiss, Chris Peterson
To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Weeks in Athens at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jerrold Colten at email@example.com
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