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Greek tourism industry experiencing a record number of visitors

Press Release   •   Aug 20, 2013 12:02 BST

Greece's booming summer tourism revenue has given a welcome boost to the cash-strapped country's finances.

Tourism receipts, the country's biggest foreign-currency driver, rose 21 percent year-on-year to 1.59 billion euros in June, the first month of Greece's busy summer holiday season.

While Greece's economy is expected to shrink 4.2 percent this year, visitor spending suggests this could be a record summer season for tourism.

That brings total tourism receipts in the first half of the year to 3.32 billion euros, Bank of Greece figures showed, up 18 percent compared with the same period last year, when fears of a Greek euro zone exit kept tourists away.

The local tourism industry is currently forecasting a 10 percent rise in tourism receipts for the full year to 11 billion euros from a record 17 million visitors.

Hoteliers, restaurant owners and tourism businesses have slashed prices and upgraded services to weather the crisis and lure more visitors.

Minimal increases in the number of hotels and other accommodation establishments in Greece are expected over the next five years, however other investment opportunities could be presented in the form of the of the government disposal of hotel assets aspart of its economic reform programme.

There has been a surge particularly in visitors from Russia and Turkey, both of which spend, on average more than tourists from other countries. The numbers have also been helped by visitors staying longer as well.

The future is looking good for the Greek tourism industry, despite ongoing domestic economic restrictions which are making investors wary of any large scale immediate expansions.

Growth in inbound and outbound arrivals by 2017 will lead to increased expenditure on transport and travel related items, and as such an overall increase in the country's tourism industry value is expected.

For more information on the Greek tourism industry, see the latest research: Greek Tourism Industry

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