A 48-hour seaman's strike scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday is set to strike a deadly blow for island tourism in the run up to Orthodox Easter this weekend, as ships and ferries are set to remain anchored.
The Panhellenic Seamen's Federation (PNO) has voted in favor of strike action and will down tools for 48 hours commencing Tuesday, dealing an enormous blow to the tourist industry which is gearing up for Greek Orthodox Easter which falls this weekend.Athens News reported Development Minister Anna Diamantopoulou blamed Communist Party influenced union members for an inability to reach an agreement to avert strike action.
Ta Nea reports that the strike will have an impact on both domestic and foreign tourism. Greek Minister Paul Geroulanos pointed out that during the Berlin hostedInternational Tourism Bourse where German tour operators pushed Greece as a holiday destination, the first question raised by Germans was the impact of strikes if they opted for Greece as a vacation choice. Geroulanos expressed fear that the seamen's strike will have a negative impact on bookings from Germany.
Additionally, hoteliers in the islands of Zakynthos and Corfu have reported a dramatic fall in hotel bookings over last year. The Greek tourist summer of 2011 was blighted by taxi strikes and now travel to the islands will necessarily have to be cancelled due to the seamen's strike.