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Greek holiday strikes bite

- by Archimedes

Greek holidays end as strikes bite.

It's fortunate that the Greek Island holiday season had virtually ended before the country was hit by a wave of protest strikes.

And doubly fortunate as Greek holiday tourism and exports are the only sectors of the economy delivering any positive news at the moment.

Latest figures show holiday visitors to Greece and the Greek islands up 10% this year bringing in a €7.7 billion boost to the country's coffers.

Foreign tourist airport arrivals grew by 9.9% and in August alone revenues from holiday tourism increased by 6.5 percent.

But those still on Greek Island holidays face difficult times with a 48 hour strike by government workers and with the Aegean islands cut off by a week long ferry strike.

The Greek Islands will remain cut off from the mainland until Monday after the Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) voted to extend a strike which began on October 17.

As a result the Greek tourist industry has been dealt a late season blow with hotel owners reporting a new wave of cancellations on booked holiday reservations.

The cancellations have mainly come from foreign tourists who had planned to visit Athens and other spots around the country, including the Greek Islands, in the latter half of October.

Tourists are naturally worried at the serious problems with transport, triggered by multiple strikes taking place all around Greece, notably the cancellation of scheduled flights due to strike action by air traffic controllers.

Greek tourism leaders have warned that images of tourists carrying luggage across Athens and through streets near airports, which made global headlines, had painted a very negative picture of Greek Island holidays.

Greek hotel owners find themselves in a difficult position as they negotiate deals on 2102 Greek Island holidays with British tour operators.