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Greece’s Tourism Figures Skyrocket in 2023

The castle of Lindos on Rhodes overlooks the seaside town.
The town of Lindos on Rhodes. Credit: Wikipedia/ Jebulon /Public domain.

Greece’s tourism figures have soared in the first 10 months of the year, as the air and road arrivals data published by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) show.

Specifically in the January-October 2023 period, 23 million international air arrivals were recorded, surpassing the January-October 2022 figures, showing an 11.5 percent increase.

In absolute numbers, in the first 10 months of the year, SETE shows 2.4 million additional arrivals. Compared to the January-October 2019 period, the increase is estimated at 12 percent.

In the January-October 2023 period, 6.3 million international air arrivals were recorded at Athens International Airport, showing an increase of 28.4 percent. The Thessaloniki Airport saw 2.1 million international air arrivals, showing an increase of 20.3 percent.

The Heraklion airport in Crete recorded an increase of 4.7 percent compared to the first 10 months of 2022 as international air arrivals reached 3.6 million. At Chania airport arrivals reached 1.4 million showing an increase of 8.6 percent.

In the Dodecanese, Rhodes airport recorded 2.6 million international air arrivals showing an increase of 2.9 percent, Kos airport recorded 1.3 million international arrivals showing an increase of 5.3  percent, and Karpathos airport recorded 90 thousand international arrivals, also showing an increase of 2.7 percent.

Tourism in Greece on an Upward Slope

The only two regions in Greece that had a slight decrease in air arrivals compared to last year were the Peloponnese and Cyclades islands.

In the Peloponnese specifically, 201 thousand arrivals were recorded, showing a decrease of 3.2 percent compared to last year. As for the Cyclades, 1.3 million international air arrivals were recorded, showing a decrease of 7.2 percent compared to the corresponding 2022 period.

White Tower in Thessaloniki from the sea
Thessaloniki, Greece. Credit: Annatsach / CC BY-SA-4.0 / Wikimedia Commons

As for road arrivals to the corresponding 2022 period, 9.5 million international road arrivals were reported, compared to 7.2 million in the period January-October 2022, showing an increase of 33.1 percent.

In absolute numbers, it means that in the first 10 months of the year, Greece had 2.4 million more road arrivals compared to last year. At this point it should be emphasized that compared to 2019 there is still a 14.4 percent lag which is attributed to the two years of the Covid-19 pandemic (2020-2021).

In regards to hotel services, Greece excelled in October 2023, ranking first in the General hotel Satisfaction Index (GSI) with an 86 rating. In second place is Cyprus with 85 percent and in third place there is a tie between Italy and Spain with 84 percent respectively. It is followed by Turkey with 83 percent while France was in last place with 78 percent.

Tourism Revenue Up by 15.2 Percent

On the travel receipts front, as published by SETE, it is emphasized that in the nine-month period January-September 2023, travel receipts showed an increase of 15.2 percent compared to the corresponding period of 2022 and amounted to 17,919 million euros revenue from Greek tourism.

But the most important element for Greece’s tourism is that compared to the same period in 2019, an increase of 11.3 percent in travel receipts is recorded. This development is due to the increase in receipts from residents of EU-27 countries by 11.7 percent, which amounted to 9,982 million euros, as well as reciepts from visitors from countries outside the EU-27 by 18.3 percent, which amounted to 7,459 million euros.

This development reflects the increase in the flow of tourists to our country, as during this period the number of tourists who visited our country reached 27.8 million and was increased by 17.3% compared to last year.

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