According to a National Bank of Greece forecast, tourism revenue could reach a record €21 billion in 2023.
The total will almost definitely exceed the €18.17 billion received in 2019, the final year before the Covid-19 epidemic. While tourism returned well in 2022 after two weak years, income fell short of a new high of €17.63 billion.
A significant portion of this increased revenue is attributable to higher prices caused by inflation, which are expected to compensate for the slightly shorter duration of visitors’ holidays.
The report highlights two new trends that may continue in the coming years: first, the rise of new tourist destinations that are less crowded with visitors, such as Mytilene, the capital of the island of Lesvos, and Kavala, a city in mainland northern Greece; and second, increased competition from countries such as Turkey, which increased its share of the Mediterranean holiday market from 19% in 2019 to 22% in 2022, while Greece’s share remained stable at 13%, and Albania, whose share is still in the low single digits but has increased 24% since 2019.
Tourist arrivals were 10% more than in the same time in 2022 from March to May, indicating an increase in income of 19%. Visitors from the United States contributed significantly to the gains, and their high spending (€1,000 compared to €599 for all visitors) increased income. Arrivals from the United Kingdom, on the other hand, fell 5% from 2022, as did average spending (€668 from €713).
A noteworthy shift was that the tourist season began early in 2023, benefiting the major cities, particularly Athens. City hotel sales increased from 38% in 2019 to 41% in early 2023, while island sales fell somewhat, from 51% to 48%. Athens is no longer just a stopover on the way to the islands.
According to the survey, while air arrivals increased by 12% year on year in June, those on Mykonos and Santorini fell by 7%, while arrivals on Mytilene and in Kavala increased by more than 20%.
According to the research, the July blaze in Rhodes might result in a 1% decline in visitors, with the southeastern Aegean island accounting for 16% of all visitors in 2022 and 17% of guests at 4 and 5-star accommodations.