Greek government officials announced that the number of tourists through August had reached around 50% of the totals seen in 2019 before the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Reuters.com, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias reported that the country saw arrivals increase by 79.2% and spending jumped 135.7% between January and August compared to the same period in 2020.
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In total, the tourism industry in Greece hit half of 2019 levels in the first eight months of 2021, putting the recovery of the travel sector in line with the government’s projection at the start of the year between 40 and 50% of 2019 revenue.
In 2020, only seven million visitors arrived in Greece, spending just four billion euros, while the country recorded a record number in 2019 with 33 million arrivals bringing in 18 billion euros.
Kikilias estimates that Greece is on the right track to “achieve revenues of more than 10 billion euros”.
The country reopened to international travel in May ahead of the generally busy summer season, and Kikilias said “increasing numbers of foreign visitors” have entered the country in the summer months.
Kikilias also revealed that September, October and November were “busy months”.
Last month, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) recognized the Greek government for the safe reopening of international tourism this year. WTTC communications officer Elena Corina Rodriguez said Greece has put in place a safe travel environment for visitors.
In August, the country’s health ministry said citizens and tourists arriving in the country by plane, train, boat or long-distance bus must now show proof of vaccination, recovery from the coronavirus, or a negative test taken in 48 hours after their arrival.