Greece’s tourism figures have soared to new heights, exceeding the expected forecasts and paving the way for another record year, as the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA), Fraport Greece and Athens International Airport data revealed that an additional 3 million people went through the country’s airports in the first seven months of the year compared to 2017.
More specifically, the country’s 14 regional airports recorded a 13.7 percent rise in passenger traffic in the first seven months of the year while an additional 1.5 million visitors flew directly to the regional hubs in the same period to 12.1 million compared to 10.6 million in 2017.
Athens Airport has welcomed an additional 1.2 million visitors in the first seven months of the year, to 9.03 million passengers, marking a 15 percent rise compared to the same period last year at 7.85 million.
On Crete, meanwhile, Heraklion Airport welcomed more than 1.85 million travelers in the January-July period.
Tourism officials expect the ministry’s initial target of 32 million tourists in 2018 to be exceeded by one million additional visitors when taking into consideration road and cruise ship arrivals. The figures are backed by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), which affirmed that Greek tourism was riding on a wave of keen interest as demonstrated by the increase in the number of arrivals to the country, stronger revenue, and growing investor interest in the sector.
According to local tourism officials meanwhile, popular destinations including Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Paros, Corfu, Zakynthos and Santorini are fully booked for the season, with occupancy levels at less popular destinations ranging from 85 percent to 95 percent.