Greek tourism industry heads towards new record arrivals in 2015

August 29, 2015 5:32 am 

By Maria Spiliopoulou

ATHENS, Aug. 27 (PNA/Xinhua) — Greece's tourism industry, traditionally one of the main pillars of the economy, was heading towards a new record in arrivals of visitors this year, according to the latest data of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE).

Despite the prolonged economic and political uncertainty, the speculation over a possible default and Grexit and the introduction of capital controls this summer, the Greek tourism industry remained resilient.

SETE experts estimated based on the number of arrivals at airports, ports and land border crossings, that at least 25 million tourists will visit Greece by the end of 2015, exceeding the 2014 record of 24 million visitors.

For example, airport arrivals nationwide from January to August have increased by 6.9 percent compared to same period in 2014, according to preliminary data.

SETE estimated that Greek economy will benefit by about 14 billion euros (USD 16 billion) in travel receipts this year.

Total employment in the tourism sector (about 700,000 jobs) corresponds to more than 18 percent of the workforce in the recession-hit country where unemployment has hit 27 percent in recent years.

SETE officials called for a stable investment and taxation environment to allow the further growth of the tourism market.

Tourism industry sector experts attributed the resilience of the Greek market in recent years despite the debt crisis to the good value for money. For example visitors said that they were satisfied with the quality of services provided by hotels across Greece by 85.6 percent on average this July. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/EBP

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