Despite its ongoing crisis and debt issues, Greece has been experiencing a tourism boom for successive years, the German newspaper “Suddeutsche Zeitung” reported on Saturday, with one record year for tourist arrivals succeeding another.
It noted that 24 million tourists visited Greece in the first 10 months of 2016, while the figure for the “small country that is constantly teetering on the brink” in 2018 was forecast to reach 30 million.
According to the paper, Germans were the most attracted to Greece and occupied the top spot for tourist arrivals in 2016, with 3.6 million visitors. The main attractions for Germans, it said, were the Greek antiquities and the sun, warmth and amazing blue seas that could not be found in Germany. Greece also benefited from the tense situation in surrounding countries, such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, and the fact that all talk of a possible exit from the EU and the euro had been permanently dropped.
The paper additionally referred to the positive impact made by the country’s prime minister Alexis Tsipras after he “converted his grandiose promises to the opposite and continued to rule” and noted that tourism, as the driving force of Greece’s economy, had an open road ahead.
“Even the refugee crisis cannot stop this boom. On Lesvos and Chios there is an increase in the number of visitors in spite of the refugee camps,” the paper added.