Handelsblatt : Tourist boom in Greece

A record is expected for tourism this year in Greece, which attracts especially the Germans but now also come the Chinese, who want to turn Athens into an air hub to the countries of Europe, writes in a large article in the authoritative German financial newspaper Handelblatt.


"After last year's record with 27.8 million tourists, this year a new record is expected with 30 million visitors. Thus, tourism is transformed into the strongest engine of the Greek economy which could take it out of the crisis. The Greek government expects the economy to grow by 1.8% thanks to tourism. While tourism contributed 15.6% to GDP in 2010, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates, this figure is already 18.6% and according to its forecasts, by 2027 the rate will increase 4.6% per annum, which is higher than the growth of the overall economy, "the Dusseldorf daily notes.


"This is mainly contributed by German tourists, whose preferences are very high in Greece. No country is in the preferences of Germans as high as Greece, according to the GfK research institute, according to which in 2012, when the country was collapsing by demonstrations, the profits of travel agencies have tripled, "the newspaper adds.
The same estimates have also come from the largest tourist organization in Europe, the German - also - TUI, which refers to an increase of this year's total bookings of 23% in total to Greece, with Halkidiki accounting for 44%, while Marek Andryszak, tourist director, talked about long-term plans for the company to grow In Greece even more.
"The Greeks gain from the insecurity and political turmoil in Turkey, but also from their own strong papers: The quality of hotels and services has never been better", as Mr Andrijack says in the newspaper.


"But in terms of prices, Greece has become more competitive. On the competitiveness scale of the World Economic Forum, Greece ranks 24th among 136 countries this year, while last year it was 31st. According to the OTKC forecast, turnover from tourism, from $ 14.7 billion last year, to $ 24.6 billion by 2027. The Chinese will also have a key role to play. In the medium term, arrivals are expected to increase from 150,000 last year to 1,5 million." As Jim Jiannong Kian, the vice president of the largest Chinese business group Fosun, points out in Handelsblatt, "Greece is a very safe destination".


Finally, the German financial newspaper writes that "the Chinese giant also participates in the Joint Venture for the development of Elliniko which is expected to become a magnet for tourists. But Fosun's interests are not limited to that. He plans to join another Joint Venture with Friedmann Pacific Asset Management Ltd to turn E. Venizelos Airport into an air hub between China and Europe."

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