The year 2018 broke all records for Greek tourism, with the country welcoming 33 million international arrivals and earning revenues of more than 16 billion euros, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said on Tuesday.
in an interview with Alpha TV, the minister emphasized the enormous contribution of tourism as a whole to the Greek economy. Tourism was so high that it even had a beneficial effect on all the productive sectors, such as trade, construction and real estate.
Kountoura described the strategy of the Greek tourism ministry and its next moves to continue the excellent course of tourism in 2019. She hopes to maintain the double-digit increase of foreigners coming to Greece which has been recorded in the last several years.
However, the minister warned that 2019 will be a demanding and difficult year, referring to a series of challenges Greek tourism may face.
Brexit is expected to bring turmoil across the European economy, as are the successive EU elections throughout Europe. There are also problems faced by low-cost airlines which affect flight planning.
In addition, the country faces greater competition from non-EU countries which have adopted aggressive “subsidization” policies for tourism, where state monies go into tourism advertising budgets which are many times larger than that of Greece.
Kountoura stressed that she will have further meetings with British and European tourism industry operators in order to minimize the impact of any potential problems. She believes this will help ensure that the flow of tourists to Greece continues to increase.