Greece’s all-important (and privately run) tourism industry, which was one of the few sectors to have survived the catastrophic austerity measures imposed on the country, is feeling the pressure after the leftist government slapped capital controls on the banking system to avoid a bank run.
There is a 50% drop in passenger arrivals to the Greek islands.
According to data released by the business association for passenger shipping, the number of travelers in the western Cyclades islands of Sifnos, Serifos, Kythnos, Kimolos and Milos saw a dramatic decline. Only one scheduled sea route took place on Tuesday!
All tourism related businesses are in despair, with hotels recording an unprecedented cancellation of bookings due to the lack of cash flow and a widespread feeling of uncertainty by tourists. The situation could deteriorate even more in the near future, as fears for a fuel shortage would mean greater disruption.
Fears of a bank run, a week-long bank holiday and unprecedented capital controls followed a hastily called referendum by Greek PM Alexis Tsipras in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The wordy question of the referendum asks citizens to accept or not accept creditors’ last offer to Athens — an offer now “off the table”.
Nevertheless, the radical SYRIZA government and party, its junior coalition partner, the anti-austerity right-of-center Independent Greeks party (AN.EL), the “old guard” communist party (KKE) and the … ultra-nationalists of Golden Dawn (Chryssi Avgi) have eagerly supported a “no” vote.