Official data from local and international tourism organizations shows that Greece is not a low-cost tourism destination despite an overall opinion that Greece does not attract high-income tourists.
Reports by the World Economic Forum, the World Tourism Organization, the World Travel and Tourism Council and the Bank of Greece all agree on average annual tourism revenue of $1,200 per capita in this country. This places Greece fifth among the top countries in global tourism.
For 2005, on the basis of average spending by visitors, Greece ranks 10th in the world with $1,073 per tourist, ahead of its direct competitors.
As well, in a recent report by the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, Greece places 24th in terms of travel and tourism competitiveness, far higher than the country’s position in the overall economic competitiveness list (47th).
And last year, an estimated 32,000 new jobs were created in tourism, a figure that represents 6.8% of all jobless people in 2005.
Also, last year was the second in a row where the key figures of the tourism economy rose. With respect to arrivals, after a 5.6% annual rise in 2005, there was a further increase of 7.5% in 2006, leading to a new record of 13.7 million foreign tourist arrivals. Meanwhile, Bank of Greece data shows that revenue last year totaled 11.4 billion euros, a rise of 5% compared with 2005.
These positive figures for tourism in 2006 were achieved despite the severe oil crisis that pushed up the price of oil from $55 per barrel (January 2006) to more than $75 per barrel (August 2006), which once again confirms the resilience of the tourism economy in general.
The World Tourism Organization expects a 4% rise in arrivals internationally in 2007, but just 3% in Europe. Greece’s tourism ministry expects arrivals here to more than double Europe’s average and cites the months of April and May, which were record months for foreign visitors to Greece.