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Finance Minister: Tourism Has Contributed Significantly To Greece’s Economy

Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras (Photo:

Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras (Photo:

“The Greek economy has entered a new phase,” Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras said on 21 October while delivering a speech on the first day of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises’ (SETE) 12th Tourism & Development Conference in Athens.

During his speech, Mr. Stournaras assured that the Government would not make any more “horizontal” cuts (that affect pensions and wages) but would opt for “targeted” cuts.

The finance minister said the decline in GDP was limited to 3.8 percent year on year in the second quarter of 2013, despite the initial negative estimates.

“For the third quarter, in fact, we expect even better results, possibly (a decline) close to three percent, a result in which tourism has undoubtedly contributed significantly,” he said.

Greek Tourism

Mr. Stournaras said that in the last decade, tourism directly and indirectly generates approximately 16 percent of GDP and employs 19 percent of the country’s workforce.

Basic CMYKIn regards to the course of tourism, the finance minister said arrivals this year are expected to exceed 17 million considering that during the first eight months of the year international arrivals increased by 14.7 percent and tourism revenue grew by some 18 percent.

“Greece this year ranked 32nd in terms of tourism competitiveness out of 140 countries, but is in the third place in terms of tourism infrastructure, behind Austria and Italy,” he said.

According to a study carried out by McKinsey & Company on behalf of SETE, by 2021 Greece could meet the target of 24 million international arrivals on an annual basis if 3.3 billion euros are invested every year in tourism for each of the next eight years. (The study “Tourism Strategic Planning 2021: The Implementation Roadmap” will be presented on the second day of SETE’s conference on 22 October.)

Mr. Stournaras added that by 2021, the direct Gross Value Added provided by tourism (direct and indirect contribution) could increase by 17 billion euros and reach 44 billion euros, while creating around 300,000 direct and indirect jobs.

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