Greece expects more investment in tourism

CNC
Added On October 9, 2017

Greece witnessed a flourishing year for tourism in 2017.
 
Greek Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura says her country is expecting more visitors as well as investments in the tourism industry in coming years.
 
Economy Report has more.
 
In 2015, Greece had welcomed 26 million visitors. In 2016, the number climbed up to 28 million.
 
SOUNDBITE (GREEK): ELENA KOUNTOURA, Greek Tourism Minister
"We expect that including passengers on cruise ships foreign arrivals this year will exceed 30 million. We believe that in coming years we will see far better results in the tourism industry and relevant investments."  
 
The minster made the remarks on the sidelines of a press briefing on the plans of travel giant TUI Group to bring more travelers to the country and invest in various projects.
 
The TUI Group, the world's leading tourism company,brought some 2.5 million visitors in Greece during the 2017 season.
 
It plans to offer new travel packages designed for the off season, supporting Greek authorities to prolong the tourism season.
 
SOUNDBITE(ENGLISH) FRIEDRICH JOUSSEN, TUI CEO 
"We have a master plan to increase tourism. We want to invest and we will invest if the conditions are right...” + [07:07:10 - 07:17:03] “...The investments in Greece will be mainly around hotels as well as ports for our cruise ships."
 
Greece is expecting not only more visitors, but also investments in the tourism industry in the coming years.
 
SOUNDBITE (GREEK) ELENA KOUNTOURA, Greek Tourism Minister
"We have managed to become a very attractive country for investments. Investments in the tourism sector during 2016 and 2017 have increased remarkably." 
 
Greek Tourism Minister said that in particular, her country is expected to strengthen cooperation with China in the tourism sector.
 
SOUNDBITE (GREEK) ELENA KOUNTOURA, Greek Tourism Minister
"Thanks to the excellent bilateral ties and the Belt and Road initiative we are happy to say that in 2016 we welcomed more than 150,000 Chinese tourists and we believe that in 2017, in particular after the launch of the direct flights connecting Athens to Beijing (on Sept. 29), we will exceed all expectations. China is a priority for us. It is a very important market." 
 
Tourism is a strong pillar of Greek economy.The industry performed well even during the Greek debt crisis.
 
Official data show, approximately one fifth of the Greek gross domestic product (GDP) is generated in the travel industry. 
 
In 2016, a total of 860,000 jobs were created by tourism-related industry.
 
That accounted for 23.4 percent of all jobs created