A strong reputation and even stronger international arrival figures could boost Greek tourism figures over pre-Covid 2019 levels, hitting a new record this year, reveals the latest report released by the National Bank of Greece (NBG).
According to NBG, Greek tourism revenues this year have a strong chance of reaching 21 billion euros, an amount that exceeds pre-Covid 2019 levels (18.17 billion euros) by 20 percent as well as last year’s performance (17.63 billion euros).
In its third-quarter bulletin for tourism, NBG is also expecting arrivals to exceed pre-Covid 2019 levels this year attributing the forecast to Greece’s robust competitiveness compared to rival markets and a dynamic tourism season start.
Indicatively, international arrivals in the March-May period surpassed 2019 levels by 10 percent and relevant tourist receipts by 19 percent (or 2.8 billion euros), the bank said.
Key tourism revenue drivers this year have been traditional source markets which boosted their share by 42 percent compared to 39 percent in pre-pandemic 2019, and the US, which has nearly doubled its arrivals over 2022 and spending.
The sturdy demand boosted hotel sales by 14 percent in the three months under review and over 2019, with city breaks gaining ground. And all this, say bank analysts, despite the slow recovery of road arrivals, which in the January-May period reached 2.3 million compared to 1.5 million in 2022, up by 52.9 percent.
“Taking into account inflationary pressures, 2023 tourism receipts could approach 21 billion euros,” the bank said.
“The momentum of spring, the first positive signs from summer bookings and the improvement in consumer confidence in our main markets have set the stage for new record arrivals in 2023,” said the report’s analysts, adding however that extreme heat conditions and widespread fires are creating conditions of uncertainty.