Greece calls for tourism dollars as refugees flow continues

Greece's tourism

Greece’s Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura called on French business to consider investing in the country’s tourism sector during an event organised by the Hellenic-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI France Grece).

Kountoura highlighted the opportunities and incentives in investing in Greece’s tourism sector whilst also referring to the strong cultural ties between France and Greece.

“France is a major tourist market for us. With consistent efforts over the last three years, with agreements and partnerships and with highly targeted promotional actions we have succeeded in continuously increasing tourist figures, while Greece has moved from fourth to second most popular holiday destination among the French,” said Kountoura.

Arrivals from France to Greece is estimated to reach 1,900,000, marking an increase of more than 10 percent in 2017 against last year. Over the past three years, tourist traffic from France has grown by 30 percent, or 500,000 additional arrivals.

The Minister’s call comes at an opportune time as Greece just experienced record numbers of tourists, hitting close to the 30 million mark. However, not all Greeks have benefited from the boom.

Islands hardest hit by the flow of migrants and refugees experienced dramatic drops in tourism, with islands like Lesvos experiencing up to 40% decrease at the height of the crisis.

In November alone 2,916 migrants and refugees arrived on the islands of Lesvos, Chios and Samos with a total 424 arriving in just the last three days.

GCT Team

This article was researched and written by a GCT team member.

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