Tourism Accounted for 11.7% of Greek GDP in 2018

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Tourism in 2018 directly contributed to the creation of 11.7% of the country’s GDP by 21.6 billion euros, according to figures and estimates included in the study by the Institute of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (INSETE) entitled “Contribution of Tourism in the Greek Economy in 2018 “.

In detail, tourism’s direct contribution to GDP increased by 13.3% or by 2.5 billion compared to 2017. Overall (direct and indirect) tourism in 2018 contributed from 25.7% (47.4 billion EUR) to 30.9% (EUR 57.1 billion) in GDP creation. At the peak of the tourist season, only through work in accommodation and catering (411,000 employees) it contributed to 16.7% of employment and overall (directly and indirectly) between 36.7% and 44.2%, and was a key lever reduction of unemployment, especially among young people and women. The tourism sector also had a significant investment activity of € 5 billion, of which € 1.9 billion in domestic value added.

As pointed out in the study, tourism is par excellence an extrovert activity, since over 90% of tourism revenue comes from abroad. This revenue, including cruise, aviation and maritime receipts, amounted to € 18.2 billion, an increase of 11.3% or € 1.8 billion compared to 2017.

In addition, tourism including the cruise covered 81% of the goods balance deficit with travel receipts and receipts from air transport and maritime transport. These receipts are equal to 73% of the export earnings of all other products exported by the country, excluding the proceeds from ship and fuel export. Inbound tourism showed momentum in 2018 with an improvement in all indicators, except for the average length of stay following the global downward trend. The seasonality of incoming tourism remained high, with 68.4% of arrivals and 72.5% of revenue being recorded in the peak season between June and September.

Based on the study’s estimates, from every 1 euro of tourist activity, an extra 1.2 to 1.65 euro of additional economic activity is created. Essentially, for every 1 euro of tourist revenue, the country’s GDP is rising by 2.2 to 2.65, a trend that proves that tourism is a sector with a large spread of benefits to the economy. Indicative is the fact that the economy of 3 island regions is highly dependent on tourism, since the contribution of the sector to Regional GDP amounts to 47.2% in Crete, 71.2% in the Ionian Islands and 97, 1% in the South Aegean. These regions have the highest per capita GDP in the country, substantiating the view that tourism leads to an improvement in the living standards of the destination inhabitants.

At the same time, with the study that includes estimates for the contribution of tourism to the Greek economy for 2018, INSEET completed the study with the final data on the contribution of tourism to the Greek economy for 2017. The study also mentioned that immediate tourism contribution to GDP for 2017 reached 19.04 billion euros compared to 17.69 billion euros in 2016. Tourism in 2017 directly contributed to the creation of 10.6% of the country’s GDP, while direct and indirect contribution is estimated from 23.2% to 28%. 

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