Tourists in Santorini, Greece

Greece’s Tourism Surge Beats Pre-Pandemic Numbers

The tourism industry in Greece has demonstrated a strong performance in 2023, bouncing back with robust growth according to recent analyses.

Monthly reports, detailing the latest data on trends in Greek tourism, reveal that the sector is experiencing a significant upswing when compared to the pre-pandemic year of 2019. The compelling statistics include insights on airport arrivals, road traffic, overall visitor numbers, and resulting economic receipts, painting a vibrant picture of the country’s appeal to international travelers.

Data from INSETE’s latest statistical bulletin paints a picture of resilience and growth. International airline arrivals in September 2023 alone saw a surge to 3.4 million—an 8.4% increase from the same month in 2022, and an even more substantial 11.9% increase from September 2019. Overall, from January to September 2023, there were 20.9 million international air arrivals, marking an 11.6% increase from 2022 and an 11% increase from the same period in 2019.

However, the recovery hasn’t been uniform across all regions. The Cyclades experienced a 7.6% decrease in arrivals, while the Peloponnese saw a minor dip of 3%. On the brighter side, Crete enjoyed a 6% increase, with the Dodecanese and Ionian Islands also witnessing notable upticks in arrivals.

Road arrivals showed a mixed trend. September 2023 saw a significant rise of 34.7% compared to 2022, yet this still represented a 20.4% decrease from 2019. The January-September period reflected a 35.7% increase from 2022, with neighboring countries like Bulgaria and Turkey contributing substantially to the traffic, despite a 12.3% decrease compared to 2019.

The increase in tourism has also translated into economic gains. Travel receipts from January to August 2023 escalated to €14,663 million, a 15.3% increase from 2022 and 10.9% from 2019. The EU-27 countries contributed significantly to this rise, with a noted increase in receipts from both the eurozone and non-eurozone countries.

Specifically, receipts from Germany saw a modest rise, while those from France showed a robust increase. Notably, receipts from the United Kingdom and the USA surged, pointing to the global reach of Greece’s tourism appeal. Even receipts from Russia, amidst geopolitical tensions, showed an increase.

Quality-wise, Greece topped the hotel satisfaction index in September 2023 at 86%, leading competitors like Italy, Spain, Cyprus, and Turkey, and significantly outperforming France.

This comprehensive data underscores the Greek tourism industry’s fortitude and appeal, signaling a positive trajectory as it surpasses pre-pandemic levels, even amidst global uncertainties.

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