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Greece Breaks All Tourism Records, Welcomes 33 Million Travelers in 2018

Photo: GTP

A total of 33 million people visited destinations in Greece in 2018, generating more than 16 billion euros in revenues and breaking all performance records to date.

Plaka district in Athens. Photo source: VisitGreece/YSkoulas

Plaka district in Athens. Photo source: VisitGreece/YSkoulas

The considerable increase in tourist traffic in 2018 led to a steep rise in revenue driven by increasing transport, shopping and domestic tourism, with overall revenue set to exceed 21 billion euros, said Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura via her Twitter account, adding that tourism also drove investment activity, which will continue its upward trend in 2019.

“We created a new framework to attract high added value investments to meet the needs of growing tourist flows,” the minister said.

According to tourism ministry data published this week and based on statistics from the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority, Fraport Greece, the Labor Ministry, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the Bank of Greece:

  • International tourist traffic grew by 10.6 percent in the January-November 2018 period, with 29.5 million visitors,
  • Direct tourism related revenue increased by 9.7 percent in the 11-month period to 16 billion euros,
  • The number of international air arrivals grew by 12.9 percent in 2018 to 20.7 million breaking all records to date. More than 2.4 million additional foreign tourists visited Greek destinations by air,
  • The number of international arrivals at Athens International Airport rose 19.4 percent to 5.7 million. An additional 1 million people traveled to Greek destinations via Athens in 2018 compared to 2017,
  • Traffic to all destinations increased with the airports of Mytilini (43.1 percent), Anchialos (31 percent), Mykonos (24.8 percent), Kavala (23.3 percent), Kefalonia (22 percent), and Samos (21.7 percent) marking the best overall performance,
  • Approximately 1.5 million additional tourists visited Greek destinations by direct flights from airports abroad,
  • Duty-free transactions in 2018 rose by 27.9 percent against 2017,
  • Museum and archaeological sites earnings increased in the January-September 2018 period by 12.8 percent with the number of visitors up by 12.6 percent,
  • VAT-generated public revenue from hotels and accommodation services increased by 10.15 percent in June compared to the same month in 2017 and by 4 percent in July,
  • Greek hotel gains increased by 51.6 percent in 2017,
  • Tourism created a total of 288,369 jobs in the January-September 2018 period,

  • Construction activity picked up pace in the September 2017-August 2018 period compared to a year earlier driven by tourism growth and demand,
  • Travel agencies, tour operators, booking services and related activities saw their turnover rise in the second quarter of 2018 by 16.6 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2017,
  • The average price per room at Athens hotels rose by 8.5 percent in the January-August 2018 period compared to the same period in 2017 with occupancy levels up by 2 percent.
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  1. Vasilia Reply

    Greece is the most beautiful country in the world. Yes there are some places that may be dirtier than others. You will have good and bad anywhere you go. Same with people, there are rude people and very nice people I don’t care what country you visit. Ive had good and bad experiences in many places I’ve visited. But you will never see anywhere more beautiful than the Greek islands.

  2. Doug Johnson Reply

    Beware, Turkish trolls will try and slander Greek web sites pretending to be some one else.

    Greeks are renown for thei hospitality, cleanliness, and food, The beaches and weather are also heaven’s paradise on earth.

    Anyone who tells you different has either never been or a lying troll. I believe that Greece is the best vaction spot on earth, by far.

  3. Steve london Reply

    H.B lyer we go to greece 17 years and in the end we bought a house as well maybe you are from the cheep tourists that forget why they are repeaters 15 years because one day the payed something more… I tottaly agree with the rest of the comments… Places like Greece Italy Spain Malta are one of a kind in europe

  4. Mor Reply

    We went to creta last month.
    Much less turists !!
    Dirty. Prices are higher than last year. Not nice.
    We know creta for 15 years.
    Last time we go.
    We know other places that give value for €….

  5. Leo1 Reply

    H.B it is shame when you are talking about Greek people like that.. Non of your words are true. Greeks are the most nice and polite people in the world, with great culture and history. I do not know where you went but Greece is the cheapest country in Europe with great food and many hotels. In addition venizelos airport is one of the best airport in Europe, i am really shocked what are you commenting here. False everything. Shame on you!!! For me, Mediterranean countries like Italy and Greece is the most attractive tourist destinations. Greetings from Georgia!! Love Greece!!! Levan

  6. theo maniatis Reply

    by 2025 greece will have over 40 million tourists

    • h.b Reply

      I came here the 2nd time last Summer. Everything is expensive in this poor country. Racism is widespread and common. The airport is small and cities are dirty. Security workers(police?) and airport workers are rude, , arrogant, ignorant, stupid, racist, brutal,,barbaric, uneducated and abuse over power. Islands are OK.

      • MMS Reply

        And you are liar h.b and working for a competitor country tourism office. But with this lies you cannot hurt the Greek tourism.

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