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A Growth in Visitors to Greece

Recent data this week reported that the first half of 2013 has seen in total a 10% growth in visitors to Greece compared to the same period as last year.

The total number recorded was 4.35 million according to statistics from the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises.

Figures also state that arrivals increased at Greece’s main airports in June 2013 compared to the same time last year by 14.6% with over 1.9 million visitors. This year, of the 13 airports within the country, 11 of them have reported a rise in arrivals on last years figures - Santorini reported the highest increase of 30.6% with Iraklio 21 %, Rhodes 19% and Athens 9.5%.

Speaking at a recent conference in Athens, the Bank of Greece governor, Giorgos Provopoulos said that the tourism industry in Greece must develop and become more competitive, and believes the country could well beat this year’s forecast of 17 million visitors. One of the main suggestions on the agenda is to develop the tourist season by lengthening it further than summer. In addition Greece should aim to turn into a regional training centre for businesses operating in this sector.

Tourism is the country’s largest business industry and helps provide employment for a large percentage of the population, it also accounts for 16% of Greece’s GDP (gross domestic product).

The main reason for the increase in tourists this year is due to many Greek hotels and restaurants offering lower prices to entice foreigners back to the country after a reduced summer season last year.