According to the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (STE), Yannis Retsos, since the start of the financial crisis in Greece, tourism has directly generated 125 billion euros to the economy, while 230 million people have travelled to the country, gaining a positive experience.
Speaking during the closed session of the confederation’s 27th General Assembly in Athens on Tuesday, Retsos underlined the value of the tourism sector for the Greek economy.
“Greece has been rising over the last nine years from an unprecedented economic crisis… Greek tourism remained the spearhead of the wounded economy, the primary sector of contribution to national GDP and a major sector for jobs,” he said.
In 2018 the sector directly contributed 22 billion euros to the Greek economy, according to SETE’s data.
“During Greece’s peak tourism season, the sector contributes almost 20 percent of the total employment of the country,” he added, also mentioning that in the last three years, private investment in Greek hotels worth of 5.6 billion euros was carried out.
“Tourism is a unique, valuable asset for our economy, for Greece, for all,” he added.
During his speech, Retsos applauded the fact that during the pre-electoral period of the recent local and regional elections in Greece, tourism was high on the agenda in many parts of the country in a more meaningful way than it had ever been in the past.
“Specific problems, including infrastructure issues and destination management issues, were discussed,” he said.
“It remains to be seen in practice how the new mayors and regional governors will follow the best path for Greek tourism and local residents,” Retsos said, stressing that there is no time to waste, especially in destinations where millions of tourists are to be accommodated.