Greek tourism flows and revenue have retained the upward momentum recorded in previous years, with international arrivals up by an additional 283,000 or 13 percent in the first four months of 2019 to 2.5 million against the same period in 2018, the Greek Tourism Ministry said on Tuesday.
Citing Bank of Greece and INSETE data, the tourism ministry said Greece was among the world’s leading destinations as demonstrated by growth at Athens Airport up by 16.6 percent and regional airports stronger by 8.6 percent. In May, the number of arrivals increased by 18.7 percent to 1.2 million compared to the same month in 2018 at 1 million.
Travel receipts in the first four months of 2019 also rose by 30 percent to 760 million euros or an additional 206 million euros – a 37.2 percent increase – compared to the corresponding period in 2018.
Travel receipts for March grew by 32.2 percent year-on-year to 319 million euros from 241 million euros in the same month last year, with the figure for the January-March period stronger by 37.2 percent to 760 million euros against the same period in 2018.
Meanwhile, the industry’s direct contribution to the country’s GDP came to 21.6 billion euros or 11.7 percent, attracting 5 billion euros worth of investments and employing overall up to 44 percent of the workforce in 2018, according to INSETE data.
“Tourism is a national affair and should be kept away from the pre-election arena and party tactics. The goal is to ensure sustainable and balanced tourism development focused on keeping the country’s growth efforts on track,” the ministry said in a statement.