The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) estimates that foreign arrivals this year will reach 20.5 million up from a previous forecast for 19.5 million arrivals, without counting in cruise arrivals.
In case the preliminary data by the Bank of Greece on 1.2 million of additional road and sea arrivals in July-August 2014 are confirmed, then total arrivals –except for cruise- are estimated above 21 million compared to 17.9 million in 2013 and 15.5 million in 2012.
Cruise arrivals, SETE said, increased by 100,000 in the first half of the year and are expected at around 2.5 million for the whole 2014 from 2.2 million last year. Therefore, the new estimate for 2014 tourist arrivals by all means of transport is around 23 million, up 15% compared to 2013.
As far as foreigners arriving at Greek airports are concerned, their number increased 23.5% in October and 15 percent in January-October period.
“The latest figures prove the great potential of Greek tourism. Despite the deterioration of the economic climate in Europe and Russia and the highly volatile environment in the wider region, at the end of 2014, Greece is expected to be among the world’s top 15 tourist destinations. We are moving considerably faster than expected towards the achievement of the goals of the strategic plan and the 2021 Tourism Roadmap”, said SETE president Andreas Andreadis.
He added it was imperative at this critical time to “move together – the government, political parties, social partners, tourism entrepreneurs and employees – aiming to further shield the sector, boost investment, improve quality, support the small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, enhance competitiveness and sustainability of the Greek tourism product and increase employment in the sector”.