In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, global tourism had its worst year ever in 2020.
According to the Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE), Greece was hit even harder than many other countries.
Europe recorded a decrease of 70%, recording 221 million arrivals compared to 746 million in 2019.
Meanwhile, Greece recorded a decline of 76.5%, welcoming only 7.4 million arrivals in 2020 compared to 31.3 million in 2019.
In the period January-December 2020, Greece registered 5.9 million arrivals by air, from 21.5 million a year earlier, a decrease of 72.5%.
Between January and December 2020, five airports recorded a decrease of more than 1 million international air arrivals:
- Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos recorded 2 million arrivals (down 68.5% from 2019)
- Heraklion International Airport “Nikos Kazantzakis” recorded 902,000 arrivals (down 72.7% from 2019)
- Rhodes Airport “Diagoras” recorded 586,000 arrivals (down 75% from 2019)
- Thessaloniki Airport “Makedonia” recorded 709,000 arrivals (down 75% from 2019)
- Corfu Airport “Ioannis Kapodistrias” recorded 404,000 arrivals (down 72.2% from 2019)
In addition, domestic air arrivals declined by 50% last year.
According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the collapse in international travel represents an estimated loss of USD 1.3 trillion in export revenues – more than 11 times the loss recorded during the 2009 global economic crisis.