A report by the National Bank of Greece issued on Tuesday proposes a plan that could earn Greece an extra 5 billion euros in tourism revenues every year by increasing investment, extending the season and providing the right promotion for the country as a destination.
A projected 40 percent increase in annual takings from the current level will require investments of 6 billion euros in hotel units and 16 billion in other tourism infrastructure. The upgraded infrastructure will allow the country to attract higher income tourists who could afford higher hotel prices and would spend more on a range of services and products.
These infrastructure projects could be completed within five years, the report argues, if annual tourism investments reverted to pre-crisis levels. Of the additional 5 billion euros per year, more than half would head to hoteliers’ coffers.
Despite the momentum recorded by Greek tourism in the last five years, the distance from rival countries remains notable, with great potential for further growth. The average European tourist spends 15 percent less in Greece than at rival destinations, and 34 percent less than the average at all tourism destinations. Furthermore, the share of high-income tourists dropped from 27 percent in 2008 to 23 percent in 2016.