Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Athens International Airport SA passenger traffic fell 5 percent in the first nine months of this year as Greek travel was set back by the economic crisis.
The number of people passing through the country’s biggest airport dropped to 11.5 million from 12.1 million a year earlier, according to a statement on the company’s website today.
Tourism, Greece’s biggest industry, will account 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.
Domestic passengers in the first nine months declined 11 percent to 3.9 million and international traffic dropped 1.3 percent to 7.6 million. In September, the number of domestic passengers fell 3.7 percent to 486,065 while international traffic dropped 1.3 percent to 990,338 million.
International arrivals at Greek airports rose 9.7 percent in the first nine months of 2011 from the same period last year, according to data collected from 13 airports by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, also known as SETE. The biggest increases were on the islands of Rhodes and Kos, which each saw a 22 percent rise, according to a statement posted on SETE’s website.
Athens airport was the only one to record a drop from abroad in the nine-month period, SETE’s data showed. Data were collected from the 13 airports that account for about 95 percent of all arrivals by air from abroad
--Editors: James Kraus, Peter Branton
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