The Research Institute for Tourism (ITEP) estimates that arrivals with increase by 7% over last year when incoming traffic increase over the year before by some 10% with 13.3 million visitors – up from 12.5 million.
Popular resort islands in the south such as Crete and Rodos benefited the most in 1999 while northern Greece experienced a drop in arrivals. With Kosovo no longer a deternining factor, ITEP foresees that tourists will return to resort areas such a Halkidiki this year while Crete, the Dodecanese, Ionian and eastern Aegean islands are likely to see a normalization in the levels of arrivals.
Northern Greece, the Peloponnese and Athens -whose major earthquake last September rattled potential visitors- should be welcoming back those who avoided both regions in 1999.
The report said there should be a significant rise in the number of Scadinavian and German visitors, while the corresponding figure for Britons will be smaller. (The aforementioned was written by the institute prior to last month when Britain issued a travel advisory for citizens planning to visit Greece following the recent fatal shooting if UK military attache Stephen Sauders in Athens.)
Though the institute views 2000 as generally positive, researchers pointed out a number of factors that have remained unchanged over the past decade.
Greece, which has attempted to diversify its tourist base in recent years continues to draw Europeans almost exclusively. The proportion of Americans, who the industry assumes are among the biggest spenders when they travel, has dropped from 4.3% in 1990 to 2.5%.