June 23, 2024

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Resolution: “Golden” boat trips – three minimum wages for a week of rest

Resolution: “Golden” boat trips – three minimum wages for a week of rest

Rising ferry ticket prices this year and summer holidays to popular island destinations are a pipe dream for many. A price crash test shows that travel by ship will be between 10 and 40% more expensive, with the largest increases recorded on high-speed ships and intra-Cycladic routes.

Despite lower fuel prices compared to last year and the VAT being kept at 13%, the shock for the Greek consumer tends to become permanent, as is the case for ferry companies: as ticket prices rise, so do their profits.

The paradox is that despite the fact that the rise in prices last year was due to the energy crisis, and now that fuel prices have fallen, prices are still high.

The MEGA report is very informative. For a family of four, a holiday on the island amounts to expenses that the average family cannot afford. Just to get to Skiathos by car, the family will spend 419 euros, of which 430 euros for Tinos, 596 euros for Chios, 632 euros will be needed for Paros, 206 euros for Kefalonia, while Rhodes will not even reach a thousand euros.

If we add up the ferry tickets, accommodation, food, entertainment and zero waste, a family of four will need at least €2,500 for a seven-day island holiday. That’s about three minimum wages for a week of carefree rest.

The Greek consumer’s shock increases when he discovers that going to Italy is cheaper, as the coastal ferries in this case are: Patras – Ancona: 974 euros, Patras – Venice: 1,124 euros.

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However, the matter also acquires an electoral dimension, as those who are not registered to vote by mail will have to submit themselves to vote.

Who sets prices?

Shipping Minister Christos Stylianidis was asked to answer about ticket prices that have risen in recent years.

ERT confirmed that recommendations are submitted to ferry companies through the price observatory operating in the ministry, while warning that “if necessary, we will end with the intervention of the Competition Commission.”

In response to a question about who regulates prices, Mr. Stylianides answered that the state cannot intervene because the market is free.

“The state cannot intervene and impose prices. That would also be a mistake,” he said, noting that the bottom line is for competition to succeed. He did not fail to say that “the prices of conventional ships are reasonable so far.”

Alonisos in “Bars”

As if that wasn’t enough, this year’s summer season “unfortunately became financially devastating for the local community of Alonissos,” according to the Coordinating Committee of Tourism Professionals on the island of Sporades, who cited the reason behind this as “our island’s connection with mainland Greece.”

The situation in the summer of 2024, they say, “with the delay in publishing the tour programs, has already deprived us of two months and cost us a lot with cancellations and a decrease in the number of visitors, and this means a significant loss of revenue.”

In addition, “the long-term buttressed line connecting Thessaloniki and all of northern Greece to the Sporades Islands has not yet been claimed.”

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There was also turmoil in the local community of Agios Konstantinos and Fthiotida in general due to the sudden decision to stop sea routes from the port of Lokris to the Sporades Islands.