Greek tourism continues to soar, according to the economic bulletin of one of the country’s systemic banks, Alpha Bank, which projects the sector will remain robust in 2024.

As the report notes, one of many to highlight the impressive performance of tourism over the past two years, despite external pressures, such as inflation in European countries and geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, the Middle East, and recently in the Red Sea, it is set to once again exceed expectations.

The positive prospects are reflected in the optimistic business expectations based in turn on the annual increase in airline ticket bookings, and the agreements already made by hoteliers.

Medium and long-term resilience in the tourism sector, the report notes, is associated with factors such as infrastructure projects – outlined in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan -, extending the tourist season, developing alternative forms of tourism, green investments, improved accessibility, as well as the retraining and upgrading of the skills of sector workers.

According to data from the Bank of Greece, in 2023, tourism revenues amounted to 20.5 billion euros, showing an increase of 15.7% compared to 2022 (17.7 billion euros) and 12.5% compared to 2019 (18.2 billion euros), which until then was a milestone for Greek tourism.

Significant increases were recorded in arrivals (7.8%) and revenues (9.1%) from four of the main source countries in 2023, namely Germany, the United Kingdom, France, and the United States, representing approximately 38.5% of total arrivals and 47% of total revenues, respectively.

Arrivals Up

Most international arrivals came from Germany (4.8 million, +9.5%), followed by the United Kingdom (4.6 million, +2.4%), with significant numbers also from France (1.8 million, +4.2%) and the United States (1.4 million, +29.2%).

Overall, arrivals from EU-27 countries increased by 15.6% in 2023, while arrivals from non-EU-27 countries increased by 20.8%. Similarly, in terms of revenues, most came from Germany (3.6 billion euros, +9.5%), the United Kingdom (3.3 billion euros, +5.8%), France (1.4 billion euros, +11.6%), and the United States (1.4 billion euros, +14%), with revenues from EU-27 countries increasing by 11.5% in 2023 and from non-EU-27 countries by 18.5%.

In addition, according to the annual survey of the Institute of Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP), the average hotel occupancy rates were higher in most months of last year compared to the corresponding rates in 2022, reaching 89% in August. Hotel turnover increased by 23%, and employment strengthened by 12.6% compared to 2022.