PM: Increasing Tourist Spending in Greece a Top Priority for 2023
Increasing traveler spending, better working conditions for the tourism workforce and encouraging sustainable practices are the top priorities for the Greek tourism industry, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis acknowledging that the sector is a leading driver of the economy.
Speaking during a working meeting this week with the executive committee of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Mitsotakis said the main goals had been achieved including extending the tourist season as well as seeing revenues exceeding initial goals set by the finance ministry.
“As a result, we have more financial capability to support society with a series of targeted measures to deal with the cost-of-living crisis,” said Mitsotakis.
“A common non-negotiable priority is the overall upgrade of our [tourism] product,” said Mitsotakis.
For the year ahead, the Greek PM and SETE executives said a main objective was to increase traveler spending and to be able “to measure the success of the tourist season not only based on the number of arrivals, but mainly on the revenues these visitors generate”.
Mitsotakis went on to add that the focus is firstly ensuring the sustainability of the tourism product and safeguarding destinations, mainly those which are under great pressure.
Additionally, he said, people working in tourism should also enjoy “the same dividend of success from the development of our tourism product. This means the best wages and working conditions”.
Referring to the urgent issue of staff shortages, the Greek PM said it was vital that interventions with a long-term effect be made now.
Lastly, Mitsotakis referred to the sector’s successful management of the Covid crisis.
At the same time, during a period of multiple crises, Greece managed not only to establish a strong brand name, but also to increase average spending per person by 8 percent, to attract multiple investments in tourism, to increase public spending in tourism projects across the country,” said Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias. “Eight in 10 investments are being made in tourism-related areas and infrastructure.”
On his part, SETE President Yiannis Retsos said Greece had also set the example for others to follow being able now to provide knowhow and best practices following the pandemic.
Key meeting takeaways:
– 2022 tourism revenues exceeded forecasts by 2.6 billion euros reaching 17.6 billion euros in total
– Greece’s top source markets in terms of revenues were the UK, Germany and France
– almost 30 million people chose to holiday in Greece in 2022
– inbound traffic through Greek airports increased by 64.4 percent in the first two months of 2023 over 2022 and by 2.5 percent over 2019
– airline connectivity with the US and China increased
– travel receipts for January 2023 were up by 71.9 percent compared to the same month a year ago.