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Greece Expects 20 Percent Tourism Increase This Year

Greece is expecting another increase in tourism flows in 2023 . Credit: Greek Reporter/Alex Besant

On Friday, Greece’s Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias said that Greece will experience a 20 percent increase in tourism this year. He also predicted a lengthening of the season this summer.

The comments were made during a speech on the island of Rhodes, which the minister described as the “flagship of tourism.”

The event was jointly organized by the South Aegean Region and the TUI Group, to launch a project with the aim of making Rhodes a “sustainable tourist destination”.

Tourism in Greece

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias was speaking at The Rhodes Co-Lab Sustainable Destination- Strategy & Implementation Plan event when he made the comments projecting a significant rise in tourism to Greece.

Kikilias spoke at length about how tourism was a central pillar of the Greek economy and outlined expectations that tourism will grow by 20 percent this year. He also expects the sector to benefit from a lengthened season.

Indeed, Greece is expecting a major boost in revenues from visitors to the country, especially from North America. According to projections, more than one million American travelers and over €1 billion in revenue are expected to be generated by direct flights from the United States for the upcoming tourist season.

The tourist sector performed well in Greece last year as well, partly due to a long summer season and the lifting of COVID-related lockdown restrictions around most parts of the world.

Last October was one of the best months for tourism in recent history, and there were more tourists in the country than any other previous October. Most visitors to Greece in the latter portion of last year’s tourist season came from the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Poland, Cyprus, and Israel.

Sustainable tourism in Rhodes

“The flagship of tourism is Rhodes and we have to make it a more sustainable destination,” said Kikilias at the event on Thursday, which was organized by the South Aegean Region and the TUI Group.

The Rhodes Co-Lab project “is a flagship program that seeks to launch the island into a new age,” with an emphasis on sustainability, the co-founders of the project have said.

“We will do everything we can to make this program a success”, continued the Minister of Tourism, also adding that “a new road opens and that he himself will be a soldier in this effort”.

The Greek economy undoubtedly benefits tremendously from tourism, but the potential environmental impacts of over-tourism have received increasing attention in Greece in recent years as interest in environmentalism and conservation grows.

Over-tourism might also pose a threat to Greece’s historical and cultural monuments. During a UNESCO conference in November last year, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis claimed that “excessive tourism” placed too much stress on monuments, saying it was important to highlight alternative options for visitors.

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