ATHENS – Tourism is the sector where numbers reflect reality very faithfully, and 2022 was a very successful year despite difficulties, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Tourism ministry event on “2022, The great return of Greek tourism”, Mitsotakis said that arrival figures by the end of the year were expected to cover 88% of the pre-pandemic year 2019.
Mitsotakis said it was a difficult undertaking and a risk to reopen the country to tourism in 2020, under unprecedented conditions, but tourism’s revival was based on hard work, not on luck. “This year was one of total recall for tourism, despite the fact we had great difficulties this year as well – Russian tourists did not not come. Ukrainians did not come. (There was) a spike in inflation, in energy costs. Despite that, Greek tourism returned,” the PM said.
In addition, the sector of tourism “does not only add to public funds, but boosts a wide gamut of activities,” he said, by activating public, private, and European funding that will exceed 1 billion euros in total for 2022, with bank loans included.
Factors that were new and affected the industry’s returns included the expansion of the tourism season, green investments (as in emobility) being implemented, and alternative kinds of tourism, a niche that need to be expanded. In addition, PM Mitsotakis welcomed the signing of collective work agreement for employees in the tourism sector. “This is a great achievement,” he stressed, as “a visitor’s first contact is not with the facilities of their accomodation, but with the smile of the person welcoming them,” and quality services to a visitor start with quality conditions for an employee.
Tourism needs a more open and a smoother operating market, and prospects for Greek tourism are exceptional, Mitsotakis said, expressing his optimism for the future of the Greek sector and the Greek economy.