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Tourism

Big Rebound for Greece’s Tourism Numbers: They’re Still Coming

October 31, 2021

ATHENS – Tourism arrivals in Greece for September soared toward record levels of 2019, far surpassing the goal the New Democracy government was hoping for, bringing a boost to a recovery economy.

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias told SKAI radio that about 8.6 million tourists arrived in Greece between January-August 2021, compared to 4.8 million in the same time in 2020, a 79.2 percent increase

In August 2021 alone 4 million tourists came to Greece, a 125.5 percent hike over the essentially shut-down summer season of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging.

In September, some 2,352,788 tourists visited the country – up 110 percent from the same month a year earlier .

“We hit our 2021 target to reach 50 percent of the tourism turnover of 2019,” noted Kikilias, said the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA.)

“This is the result of a gigantic effort by the government,” he added, “and the successful rebranding of Greece in relation to new health protocols, and the way we managed the Coronavirus pandemic, which made visitors feel safe.”

He didn’t mention that the country really isn’t safe because of a resurgence in cases that brought record numbers, with public hospital Intensive Care Units (ICUs) filling fast and deaths rising again.

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ATHENS – Unable to travel in their own country because of record inflation and soaring prices on everything from gasoline to ferry boats and electric bills they can't pay, many Greeks can only watch the tourist throngs everywhere.

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