The first nationwide survey on the “Effects of the Russia-Ukraine war on Greek businesses and tourism” shows only a slight impact on the viability of tourism businesses from the interruption of the tourist flow. The survey was presented by the Central Union of Chambers of Greece (KEEE) in collaboration with Palmos Analysis.
As emphasized, tourism companies expect to make up for any losses by targeting other foreign markets, as well as the domestic market.
Trade with Russia/Ukraine
There is a sharp drop in import and export activity in relation to the two warring countries with an emphasis on problems in Northern Greece and in specific sectors of activity. However, the risk of “harsh” consequences, such as layoffs, suspension of operations, etc., is limited and is mainly found in very small businesses and in very specific industries.
In order to deal with the situation, businesses with import/export activity with Russia/Ukraine are proceeding to look for alternative source countries or alternative routes/modes for importing/exporting products or channeling their products to the domestic market.
At the same time, there is an order of increase in the prices of their products above the levels of current inflation to deal with the increased costs, due to the large increases in the costs of energy and raw materials, etc. Finally, subsidizing the cost of energy is the most popular support measure from the State, according to the businesses that participated in the survey, followed by the suspension of tax/insurance obligations (mainly among very small businesses).
Tourism businesses in areas with a presence of Russian/Ukrainian tourists
In general, the participation of Russian/Ukrainian tourists in the customer base of tourism businesses is small and very little impact on the viability of tourism businesses is expected from the interruption of the tourist flow from the two warring countries. Already, tourism businesses expect to make up for any losses, by targeting other foreign markets and the domestic market, while they estimate that there will be a restoration of the flow of tourists from Russia/Ukraine, from the very next season after the war ends.
In addition, there is a significant increase in operating costs for tourism businesses, as a result of which an increase in the prices of their services is expected, slightly above the current inflation levels, to deal with increased costs of energy and raw materials, etc. However, the price increase trends appear milder in accommodation and tourist offices, due to “locked” agreements. Finally, the energy cost subsidy is recorded here as the most popular support measure from the State.
Russian tourists abroad
These are people of a higher socio-economic class. The safety of the destination, the price-value relationship (value for money) and the “sun & sea” dichotomy are the main criteria for choosing a holiday destination abroad, while Russia’s relations with the destination country are rated much lower. They organize their holidays abroad mainly through tourist offices and Greece is among the most popular destinations abroad for their holidays. There is expected to be a significant reduction in the flow of Russian tourists abroad due to the war and the impact of the reduced flows during this season seems to be mainly in the European countries of the Mediterranean, including Greece. In the medium-long term, however, there is so far no serious impact on the image of Greece as a tourist destination from the deterioration of relations between the two countries due to the war.
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