Tourism in Greece will generate record high revenues this year, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to local officials, industry experts and analysts.
"2022 has been an amazing year for Greek tourism ... I'm very happy to say that both branded and alternative destinations, both on islands and the mainland, were full of travelers and tourists this year, and we are set to surpass this year the numbers recorded in 2019, which has so far been a record year in tourism," Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told Xinhua.
In 2019, Greece recorded 32 million arrivals and about 18 billion euros in tourism revenue, according to the Bank of Greece.
This year's figures show a strong return. Tourism revenues were 224.5 percent higher in June and 329.3 percent higher in January-June 2022 than in the corresponding periods of 2021, according to the latest Bank of Greece statement.
Compared to 2019, June 2022 revenues were up 2.3 percent.
According to a recent Alpha Bank analysis, Greek tourism revenues will reach 20 billion euros this year thanks to a tourism frenzy after hotel closures during the pandemic, which will give a significant boost to GDP.
"After two very difficult years for tourism, we had an extremely positive rebound this year that helps us a lot and helps the Greek economy a lot. As a sector we usually account for 25 percent of the GDP, this is a very big number for a national economy," Alexandros Vassilikos, president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH), told Xinhua on Friday.