As 2018 comes to a close, the Greek Tourism Ministry issued an update on figures, which back positive forecasts for a record year in tourism citing data from the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, Fraport Greece, the Labor Ministry, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the Bank of Greece.
The tourism ministry notes in a recent statement, that the figures demonstrate the effectiveness of the national tourism strategy which has generated over the last three years increasing tourist demand, paving the way for the next step, which is maximising the wider benefits.
- inbound traffic increased by 10.3 percent over the January-September 2018 period, with Greece welcoming some 26 million visitors in that time,
- tourism-related revenue for the nine-month period increased by 9.1 percent,
compared to the same period a year ago, reaching a record 14.2 billion euros,
- the number of international arrivals for the 10-month period to October 2018 at Athens International Airport were up by 12.4 percent to 19.8 million visitors against 17.6 million in the same period last year,
over 2.2 million tourists traveled to Greek destinations by air with 1.3 million flying directly from their cities abroad to their Greek destination of choice,
- Athens International Airport recorded an 18.9 percent rise in international arrivals in the same 10-month period,
- all Greek destinations were in the positive for 2018 with the largest growth recorded at the airports of Mytilini (43.9 percent), Anchialos (39 percent), Kavala (37.3 percent), Mykonos (24 percent), Samos (22 percent) and Kefalonia (22 percent),
- Greek museum and site earnings grew by 15.3 percent over the January-July period compared to a year ago,
- tax free sales increased by 25 percent in the nine-month period to September,
- the average rate per room at Athens hotels in the January-August 2018 period increased by 8.5 percent while occupancy levels were up by 2.2 percent,
- turnover for travel agencies, tour operators, reservation services and related activities marked the largest increase in the last eight years in the second quarter of 2018, up by 16.6 percent,
- Greek hotel businesses saw their profits soar by 51.6 percent in 2017 (based on financial data to 16 November 2018) due to the huge demand over the 2015-2018 period.
In the meantime, construction picked up pace in 2018 by 24.4 percent in H1 driven by interest in property investments due to increased tourist demand.
More importantly, 2018 is coming to a close with tourism having created 288,369 new jobs over the January-September period, the highest figure since 2001, while revenue from VAT going into state coffers is expected to reach new heights: indicatively state earnings from VAT were up by 10.15 percent in June compared to 4 percent in the same month year ago.