According to a new report, Coastal shipping boosted Greece’s economy by 2.3 billion euros in 2016. The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) said the sector also created 34.2 thousand jobs, which was revealed in its study titled “The Contribution of Coastal Shipping to the Greek Economy”.
The IOBE report went on to note that the sector must now adapt to the new environment which includes the impact of increasing tourism, the development of the primary and manufacturing sector in island regions, as well as the export trade carried out at Patra and Igoumenitsa ports.
IOBE stresses that adapting to new market conditions requires consistent efforts to reduce operating costs while maintaining quality services. In this direction it proposes a 24 percent reduction in VAT rates on ferry tickets citing the example of Italy, which has a comparable volume of passenger traffic and where the corresponding rate is set at 10 percent. According to the IOBE, scaling down the VAT rate on tickets could boost the economy of island regions.
In terms of future prospects, the IOBE suggests the need for the upgrade and modernisation of port infrastructure, adding that reception facilities at most of the country’s ports remain inadequate taking a toll the sector’s growth in the medium term.