THE IMPACT OF AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT ON THE TOURISM IN THE GREEK ISLANDS OF THE SOUTH AEGEAN SEA

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Athanasios Ballis
Despoina Tsouka
Tatiana Moschovou
George Kasselouris

Keywords

Tourism, Islands, Greece, Transportation Infrastructure and Services, Regression Analysis

Abstract

The current work focuses on the islands of the South Aegean and attempts to highlight the importance of airport infrastructure for their tourism development. The impact of other island characteristics (area, shore length, population, number of beds in various classes of accommodation, cost of accommodation, island’s attractiveness, distance from Piraeus port, etc.) was also investigated using regression analysis. The results revealed that airports having runways above 1,800m serve direct international flights and have a very significant contribution to the tourism development of the associated islands. On the contrary, islands having airports with short runways are served through Athens International Airport yet, the number of tourist arrivals by air is low, having a minor impact on their tourism product. The characteristics of these islands indicate that they have strong potential for further tourism growth given that their airport infrastructure will be improved overcoming technical and environmental barriers.

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