By Stathis Kousounis
If Greece could meet the target of 20 million foreign tourism arrivals it would result in revenues of at least 12.8 billion euros from abroad, while in terms of the total impact on the economy it would mean an additional 7 billion euros -- or 3 percent of gross domestic product -- compared to 2010, when arrivals from abroad numbered 15 million, according to a recent survey.
The report prepared by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE), titled “The Impact of Tourism on the Greek Economy,” shows that the total effect on the economy from tourism spending in Greece by Greeks and foreigners and tourism-related investment was estimated at 34.4 billion euros or 15.1 percent of GDP in 2010. Some 15.2 billion euros of that came as a direct result of tourism development.
IOBE further estimates that for every 1,000 euros in tourism expenditure, the country’s GDP grows by about 2,220 euros. Direct and indirect tourism employment in Greece is believed to number some 446,000 people, while a total of 741,000 jobs, or 16 percent of the country’s employed population, are supported by tourism development.
Almost two-thirds of the direct impact of tourism on the country’s GDP is a result of demand for accommodation and food catering services. In the transport sector, tourism’s contribution exceeds 3.1 billion euros.
The sectors that benefit the most from tourism in an indirect form are commerce, real estate management and financial services. There is also a positive impact on business activity in construction and telecommunications, the primary sector (agriculture, farming and fishing) and domestic industrial production. The impact on the economy from the increase in household consumption thanks to tourism development is estimated at 13.9 billion euros.