Greek Tourism: On the top of the world
Greece is an internationally known travel destination for vacations. Some of its most Touristic destinations well known all around the world are: the capital Athens, the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Rhodes, Corfu, Zante and Chalcidice and North Greece.
Tourism is a really important financial source for Greece’s Economy and one of its most significant industries, contributing more than 20% to the country's GDP and employment.
The millions of tourists who visit the country prove that Greece is an important Tourism Destination since the 1970s, thanks to the country’s rich culture and history. Some of Greece’s pre-eminents are:
• the 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites (in the top 5 places of the world per km),
• the long coastline (9th world),
• the many islands (about 3,000, 11th place in the world).
Also, the high position of Greek Cuisine (5th in the world in all international evaluations) and the continuous outstanding acknowledge of the Mediterranean Diet, are additional reasons for Greece to be a number one choice in the international Tourism preferences.
In 2019, the last year before the pandemic, Greece attracted about 32 million visitors, making it one of the most visited countries both in Europe (7th) and globally (14th). Especially for summer holidays (Sun and Sea), Greece is in the 3rd place in Europe, after Spain and Italy and is in the 1st place of choice of international visitors in relation to the size of the country.
This momentum was maintained in both 2020 and 2021, making the country an international example of resilience to tourism recession and one of the fastest recovering countries, earning international recognition awards.
The Greek hotel industry is being constantly upgraded
With these data, the favorable financial environment of recent years and the new laws to attract and boost the relevant investments, the hotel infrastructure of the country is at impressive levels, both quantitatively and qualitatively.
Greece has 10,052 hotels (data from 2021), rating 6th place in Europe. What is extremely interesting, is that Great Britain, a country with almost 7 times larger population than Greece, has quite similar number of hotels (9,950) to Greece. Generally, proportional to the number of inhabitants of the country, Greece rates 1st among the European countries in the number of hotels, while the dynamics is similar if we take into consideration the non-hotel units (B&B, Villas, etc.).
In recent years, Greek Hotel industry has also improved qualitatively, based on 3 main factors:
1. The important tourism investment projects supported by the state,
2. The arrival of the large foreign hotel brands for the first time in Greek islands and
3. The substantial growth of hotel investments, to new units and modernization of older ones, with emphasis on 4 * and 5 *.
It is worth pointing out, that in a total of 10,052 hotels, those of 5 * are now 651 (6.4% of country’s total units!), representing an impressive 22% of hotel rooms, bringing the country to 3rd place in Europe and 1st in proportional to the number of hotels or the population. In correspondence, Spain, which is one of Greece's biggest touristic competitors, has just 313 5 * hotels, from a total of almost 19,500 units (1.6%).
As a conclusion, all the data leads to 2022 being very promising for Greek tourism, both in terms of demand and arrivals and in terms of investment in the industry, by entrepreneurs, international brands and large funds.