The secretary general of the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), Dimitris Tryfonopoulos, recently expressed confidence that Greece will achieve a new record in tourism this year, following a record-breaking 2015.
“Last year we achieved a historical record with 26 million tourists, total revenue of 14 billion euros and growth of seven percent, well above world tourism figures”, he said during the 1st International Blue Flags Awards ceremony held in Halkidiki last week.
“We have positive signals for a new high performance this year. The positive sign is already apparent according to the level of air arrivals”, Mr Tryfonopoulos said, adding that he believes that the expected stability (following the positive outcome of the Greek program evaluation process) will be an important factor to celebrate a new record this year.
SETE sees things differently
On the other hand, the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, appeared less optimistic, underlining that Greece had a difficult year. “Things may not be good, but they are not catastrophic”, he said.
According to Mr Andreadis, the positive outcome of the evaluation process has in fact brought optimism that last minute bookings will help Greece, at a time when destinations that traditionally attract tourism, this year have problems.
“Air arrivals in Greece increased by 6.5 percent during the first four months of the year”, SETE’s president said pointing out that road arrivals dropped by 11 percent with signs of recovery in April.
Mr Andreadis said that the sum of the two gives slightly negative figures.
“Right now we are on the edge and have a two-speed tourism: Mykonos and Santorini with very positive signs and another Greece facing a domestic tourism collapse and with businesses operating with problems mainly due to taxation”, he said.
Concluding his speech, SETE’s president expressed hope that Greek tourism would eventually see a positive sign this year.