Greece’s Tourism Growth to ‘Level Off in 2019’



Source: Greek Tourism Organisation (EOT)

Greece’s extraordinary growth in tourist arrivals over the last years is likely to level off in 2019, the President of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) Yiannis Retsos warned on Friday.

He announced that in 2018, Greece attracted about 33 million foreign visitors and tourism revenue rose to 16 billion euros ($18 billion).

Retsos said that the rapid recovery of Turkey as an alternative destination and Brexit will not leave Greek destinations unaffected.

He noted that Greek tourism is completing the sixth consecutive year of growth and past experience has shown that every six or seven years the dynamic of tourist destinations is exhausted.

The head of SETE said that Greek hotels need to implement pricing policies that are more attractive, although he acknowledged that there is very little scope for implementation given the current levels of taxation, especially VAT.

“A destination should not only appeal to the tourists who visit it, but also to the residents of the country and the professionals in the sector,” he said.

Retsos also highlighted the inadequacy in basic infrastructure such as electricity, water supply and waste management in many tourist areas of Greece.