Greece’s tourism sector is expected to have a significant impact on the recovery of the country’s economy and on reducing the external trade deficit, according to analysts at Alpha Bank.
Bank of Greece data made public last week showed that activity in the tourism sector has increased significantly, both as regards the number of arrivals and in terms of tourism revenue, which had fallen last year.
Specifically, the first six months of the year saw a 6.6 percent increase in foreign arrivals compared with the same period of 2016, and against a drop of 1. 6 percent in that period compared with the first half of 2015. Arrivals in 2017 hit 7.9 million from January through July compared with 7.5 million in the same period last year.
Tourism revenue, meanwhile, increased by 7.1 percent in the first half of the year compared with a drop of 7.9 percent in the first six months of 2016, hitting 4.1 billion euros.
According to analysts at Alpha Bank, the impact of a particular sector on the economy at large does not only depend on the size of that sector but on the complexity of the services it offers and its interaction with other sectors.
The spending of tourists in Greece last year accounted for 7.5 percent of the country’s gross domestic product, analysts said.
According to the World Travel & Tourism Council, the Greek tourism sector accounted for 18.6 percent of Greek GDP last year.