Tourism in Greece, a vital pillar of the country’s economy, is on track to generate record revenue this year, surpassing pre-Covid levels, according to officials.
“2022 has been an amazing year for Greek tourism… I am very happy to say that both brand and alternative destinations, both on the islands and on the mainland, were packed with travelers and tourists this year, and we are ready to get through this.” year the figures recorded in 2019, which so far has been a record year in tourism,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told the Xinhua news agency.
In 2019, Greece recorded 32 million arrivals and some €18 billion in tourism-related receipts, according to data from the Bank of Greece (BoG).
Data so far this year indicate a strong recovery.
Tourism-related receipts were 224.5% higher in June and 329.3% higher in January-June 2022 than the corresponding periods in 2021, according to the latest BoG announcement.
Compared to 2019, tourism-related receipts increased by 2.3% in June 2022.
A recent analysis by local lender Alpha Bank expects Greece’s tourism-related revenue to hit €20bn this year, thanks to a travel frenzy after travel restrictions were lifted, giving Greek GDP a significant boost. .
“After two very difficult years for tourism, we had an extremely positive uptick this year which helps us a lot and helps the Greek economy a lot. As a sector we usually account for 25 per cent of GDP, this is a very large number for a national economy,” Alexandros Vassilikos, president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH), told Xinhua on Friday.
Tourism was a key factor in Greece’s GDP growth of 7.7 percent in the second quarter of this year, compared to the same period in 2021, according to data published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).
The impressive performance of Greek tourism, despite prevailing challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukrainian war and the energy crisis, is the result of good planning, hard work and collaboration between all actors, according to Kikilias. .
However, there are many challenges ahead, such as improving tourism infrastructure to accommodate more visitors, which requires the implementation of a sound strategy, the minister said.
“The circumstances remain very peculiar, which leaves many question marks for the future. However, we are extremely positive about the future,” said Vassilikos.
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