Museums and archaeological sites as the driving forces of the Greek economy

ELSTAT, Greece’s official statistics authority, issued a report last week denoting a recent surge in the volume of museum visits for the year 2018. The museum and archaeological exhibitions industry were part of the most vivid branches of the domestic economy in 2018 for Greece. Both sectors experienced a surge in the number of tourism visits by more than 9%.

The ELSTAT report indicated that museum traffic flows increased by 13% in October 2018 as compared to the previous year equivalent, while visits in archaeological sites recorded an increase of 12%. Further evidence for October 2018 pinpoints that free-admission visitors went to modern museums and sights of archaeological interest at an augmented volume of 16%.

In year-round results, the ELSTAT report purported the following scores. The volume of average visits in museums for the year 2018 reached 9%, with free-admission tickets constituting the 7% of the overall tickets sold. Net revenues also increased by 12%. In the archaeological dimension, ELSTAT denoted a rise by 14% in landmark venues of historical importance, with 12% of tickets making up the free-admission category. Similar to museums, a 12% rise in terms of net revenues was also recorded in archaeological and historical sites.

Greece is a country with strong historical ties with the early antiquity world and the Byzantine Empire. To this end, there are several landmark venues of historical and archaeological importance dispersed even in the most distant areas of Greece. All these are worthy of an exploration, even though it would possibly take a lifetime to visit each of these places/venues. In Athens, there are thousands of museums and archaeological sites. Above all lies the Acropolis Museum with the adjacent Greco-Roman Agoras and the Temple of the Parthenon – a living history connecting modern Athens with the early antiquity predecessors. Another important place is the Temple of Poseidon in the southernmost part of Athens, near Cape Sounion. The Athens War Museum is another testament of the modern history of Greece while the Museum of Cycladic Art immerses its guests into the grassroots of the Minoan and Cycladic civilisations.

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