Greece is fast approaching pre-pandemic 2019 tourism revenue with 12.7 billion euros recorded in the first eight months of the year, said Deputy Tourism Minister Sofia Zacharaki this week.
Speaking at the RouteLab tourism conference, Zacharaki said the sector’s good performance comes at a time of significant challenges, including the energy crisis and inflationary pressures.
“Things are good for tourism after a long time… In terms of revenue, we have done very well and the first eight months have brought us close to 2019, which was a record year. Revenue is approximately 12.7 billion euros and this is very important,” she said.
This year, Greece marked a dynamic tourism recovery with inbound traveler flows up by 121.8 percent in January-August 2022 over the same period in 2021 generating 12.71 billion euros so far – a 92.1 percent rise in travel receipts, according to the Bank of Greece.
The minister went on to add that now was the right time for Greek tourism to enter the new era by taking advantage of the wide range of funding tools available. Among others, she referred to the opening of tenders for important tourism projects such as the upgrade of ports and marinas, the creation of diving parks, the development of spa and gastronomy tourism, and the digitalization of services.
Innovation, sustainability and digital services are factors affecting traveler decisions, said Zacharaki.
Lastly, the minister said Greece was making strides in sustainability and awareness about the importance of protecting the environment. In this direction, she referred to the creation of the Mediterranean Coastal and Maritime Tourism Observatory, the first research station dedicated to measuring sustainable coastal and maritime development across the Mediterranean. The body will be set up in Greece in collaboration with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).
“It is our obligation to provide opportunities so that together with local governments the necessary infrastructure can be developed to ensure each region increases its share in the tourism product,” she said.