Travel receipts amounted to 10.653 billion euros in 2021, according to Bank of Greece data released on Monday, a figure much higher than forecasts the Finance Ministry and major foreign firms had made in the first half of last year.
Arrivals of non-residents in 2021 increased by 99.4% from 2020, practically doubling, while takings soared 146.7%; therefore, arrivals amounted to 46.9% of those in record year 2019 while revenues covered 58.6% of those
in the last pre-pandemic year, when takings had come to €18.178 billion.
Notably, these figures are provisional at this stage and may well be revised. The revenues figure confirms the market’s expectations as well as those of the Tourism Ministry, expressed in July 2021, speaking of revenues in excess of €10 billion last year, a season of genuine recovery, though short of the previous impressive performances.
For this year, Europe’s leading tour operator, TUI Group, has already reported strong demand for holidays in Greece from early this summer. TUI estimates that its activity in the country will approach, if not exceed, its pre-pandemic levels. Greek destinations are actually among the top preferences of its clients, and in some cases, such as France, Greece constitutes the number 1 choice for this summer’s holidays.
In a recent interview with Kathimerini, TUI Group Chief Executive Officer Friedrich Joussen forecast that this year the tour operator will manage to bring 3 million travelers to Greece, up from about 2.8 million in 2019. In 2021 TUI Group brought over 1.5 million visitors.
The national action plan for tourism that the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) drafted and submitted to the government earlier this year has set as its target for tourism revenues in eight years’ time, i.e. in 2030, their trebling from 2021 so that they reach up to at least €27 billion, with the arrival of 50 million visitors from abroad.
The SETE action plan also sets a target for 307 million overnight stays in 2030 by foreign visitors – i.e. over six nights per visit to Greece.