Greece remained a top tourism destination worldwide in 2023, with the year widely expected to have set records in the all-important sector, according to now available data.

Speaking to the state-run news agency (AMNA), market analysts said the country managed to cultivate its image of a safe destination during the Covid-19 pandemic. This played a vital role in convincing holiday-makers to visit country in subsequent years.

Among others, the vice president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Cristina Tetradi, said “Greece is not a third world country, but a modern country that anyone can visit for vacation.”

Reiterating the above, the head of the same chamber’s research institute,  Konstantina Svynou, said the country’s improved presence at the political stage has contributed to building a better image, while possible over-exposure of other European Mediterranean competitors, such as Italy and Spain, have provided Greece with another fillip.

New investment in hotel units is another factor that boosts Greece’s tourism package. According to a survey by research institute, the number of five-star hotels more than doubled over the last 10 years.

For 2023, tourism revenues will total approximately 19.5 billion euros, up from 17.7 billion euros in 2022, Finance and Economy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis announced last week.

For 2024 the recently approved state budget forecasts travel revenues of 21 billion euros.

Regarding foreign arrivals, Svynou estimates that they will be at around 32 million in the new season, without taking into account cruise ship passengers.

In fact, for 2024, she said she expects hotel turnover to exceed 2023 figures. However, she said this prediction does not touch on hotel occupancy rates, as a good portion of arrivals now stay at short-term rental properties, such as AirBnB.

Air travel

With regard to increased arrivals by air, the president of the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA), Lysandros Tsilidis, cautioned that “in-transit” or stopover passengers should not be calculated in figures, given that no overnight stays are recorded. He also reminded that a breakdown of nationalities arriving from other Schengen area countries is pending, given that this is an important component in determining communication strategy.