Athens is ready to host some 4.5 million visitors this year and the Guardian is describing the rising tourism numbers as a “miracle”, adding that much of the upsurge is linked to Greece’s safety record.
The UK paper goes on to add that the Greek capital is seeing a revival with nine hotels currently under construction. At the same time, fears about Egypt, Turkey and Tunisia after attacks there have led to growing traveler numbers to Greece.
“Tourism is all about positive psychology and Greece is a safe place in the southeast Mediterranean region,” explains Yiannis Retsos, president of the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers.
The Guardian underlines that tourism is vital “for an economy stuck in depression-era recession, dependent on emergency bailouts and seemingly locked in a perpetual fiscal vice”.
The paper cites SETE forecasts of some 25 million visitors — 27.5 million including cruise ship passengers — this year, explaining why tourism is the single biggest contributor to the economy and job market and why the country’s economic recovery will depend on the sector.
“The tourist industry in Greece grew two to three times faster than in Spain, Portugal, Italy or France last year. This year we expect around 4.5 million visitors in Athens alone,” Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Andreas Andreadis said.
Concluding, Andreadis says the deal Greece made last week unlocking a further 10.3 billion euros in emergency funds will see “the market stabilise. It will end speculation of Grexit, which impacts tourism in terms of prepayment”.