It is no secret that if it was not for tourism, the Greek economy would be in even worse shape than it is today. Greek tourism has been experiencing a boom which is getting bigger as the financial crisis evolves.
Greece has been experiencing a tourism boom for successive years, with one record year for tourist arrivals succeeding another, German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung reported on Sunday.
The newspaper notes that 24 million tourists visited Greece in the first 10 months of 2016, while the figure for the “small country that is constantly teetering on the brink” in 2018 was forecast to reach 30 million.
According to the report, Germans were the most attracted to Greece and occupied the top spot for tourist arrivals in 2016, accounting for 3.6 million visitors.
The main attractions for Germans, it said, were the Greek antiquities and the sun, warmth and amazing blue seas that could not be enjoyed at home.
Greece has also benefited from the tense situation in surrounding countries, such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, and the fact that all talk of a possible exit from the EU and the euro had been permanently dropped.
Cruise travel to Greece is also picking up pace albeit slowly after a major drop last year, with the geopolitical situation in Turkey, Egypt and Israel, as well as the migrant crisis continuing to impact the industry into 2018.
A marginal increase of 1.5-2 percent in ship arrivals and a 3.5-4 percent rise in the number of passenger arrivals is expected for 2018.
According to the Greek Ministry of Tourism, significant increases in arrivals are expected in Lesvos and Samos in the North Aegean, Kavala in Eastern Macedonia, the island of Kos in the South Aegean and the Ionian islands of Zakynthos and Kefalonia.
Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, and Crete, its largest island are the constant big winners in tourism.