There are increasing signs that the Greek tourism season is growing, at least as far as arrivals are concerned, as the first figures for October show that this rise has not come with a proportionate rise in occupancy rates at hotels. This is explained by the further expansion of short-term lettings of apartments and holiday homes.
Athens International Airport data showed that arrivals from abroad increased by 14 percent from October 2016 to 1.35 million, following the 9.8 percent rise in September arrivals to 1.54 million. In total, international arrivals at Athens came to 12.47 million in January-October, posting an annual increase of 11.8 percent.
The 14 regional airports managed by Fraport Greece also reported a 15.9 percent year-on-year jump in arrivals from abroad to 1.76 million. Since the start of the year arrivals have reached 20.1 million, up by 13 percent from a year earlier.
All this means that Greece had an additional 620,000 visitors last month compared to October last year, but even though there was a rise in occupancy rates it was nowhere near the pace recorded in arrivals, even when the estimated number of Greeks returning from abroad is deducted.