The Greek tourism sector is on the path to setting a new record in 2024, with projections estimating revenues will reach 21 billion euros.

According to a study by the National Bank of Greece (NBG), initial signs indicate a dynamic start to the year in terms of air arrivals, with projections of double-digit annual growth for Q1 in 2024.

The positive trend is reflected by the high demand expectations of Greek hoteliers, according to the study, with the relevant index reaching its highest historical point in the January-February period, a development not observed in the rest of the Mediterranean market.

Entrepreneurs operating in tourism seem cautiously optimistic for this year, corroborating the retention of last year’s strong industry momentum, as reservations are signaling a positive trend, while markets negatively impacted by the pandemic also appear to be bouncing back.

The positive trajectory of inbound tourism will hinge on Greece maintaining and boosting the country’s international competitiveness, the NBG study says.

NBG, however, cautions that vigilance is required amid constant geopolitical and climate pressures, factors that have proven to disrupt and upend the industry’s course.

Airdata Tracker

In addition to the promising NBG report, data from Airdata Tracker of the Greek Tourism Enterprises Association (SETE), suggests there was already an uptick in the monthly distribution of airline seats for the first quarter of the year in January.

Specifically, in January, airline seats increased by 13.9% compared to the same period last year, in February the increase stands at 18.4%, and in March the growth rate reached 12.8%.

Record arrivals in the fall of 2023

In the fall, 9.3 million foreign tourists visited the country (+6% compared to 2019), with the prolonged good weather of the October-November period (+13%) offsetting the effects of the extreme weather phenomena of September (+1%).

The good performance in the fall was primarily fueled by the “traditional markets” (Germany, the UK, the USA & France), which increased their share cumulatively by 8 percentage points in the period 2019-2023 (to 43% from 35%).

Hotel sales recorded a strong increase in the fall (+7% annually in inflated terms). Specifically, all broad destination categories moved upwards (islands +6%, urban centers +8%, mainland +14%), with mainland destinations exceeding their pre-pandemic levels for the first time.