ATHENS – Despite worries that too many tourists are ruining the reasons why people come to Greece, it’s providing so much money that the sector could bring in as much as 27 billion euros ($26.79 billion) by 2030.
That would be a nearly 50 percent jump over the previous record of 2019 which generated 18 billion euros ($17.86 billion) although 2022 could rake in a new record 20 billion euros ($19.84 billion) even during the waning COVID-19 pandemic as people were crazy to travel again.
The images in many places around the country aren’t pretty though, hordes of tourists cheek-by-jowl on beaches and narrow alleys in once quaint island villages looking like Disneyland versions of Greece.
An action plan prepared by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) said the bonanza could be achieved by improving tourism services and adopting growth targets instead of being unregulated.
The growth though has been so explosive that locals eager to get tourists again are now complaining there are too many and the infrastructure on some islands can’t keep up with the jumping numbers.
That’s also driven up the prices and the cost of visiting Greece although for Americans it’s been cheaper this year with the dollar now below the euro in value.
A key market – luxury resorts – is booming as well as the world’s rich flock to Greece and spots where they can be away from everyone else and have the best of everything without the annoying masses.