Record In Greece
For the last three years the number of tourists in Greece has increased by 2 million per year.
Last year it was visited by 30 million, and this year it was expected to be visited by 32 million tourists. It is a great success for the country that was before bankruptcy and exit from the EU.
Many doubted that Greece will reach the projected 32 million this year, but it seems is's going to be thanks to tourists from Asian countries who are just discovering the beauty of Greece. In fact, the number of tourists from Europe this year has not reached the expected increase primarily due to the normalization of the situation in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia. Many European tourists have decided this summer for these countries.
However, the number of Chinese tourists has doubled, mostly coming to group holidays, but more and more are coming to individual. They are especially interested for the Cyclades and Athens. It is believed that the number of tourists from Asian countries will drastically increase in the next decade.
It is also estimated that there are over 1,000 Chinese families who own the so-called golden visas. This means that € 250,000 or more have been invested in Greece. They usually for that money buy real estate that they themselves use or issue, and in return receive a five-year visa that opens the door to Europe for them. On the other hand, there are those who argue that an increase in the number of tourists from one year to the next is detrimental to Greece, because infrastructure can not support such an influx.
In the case of Santorini, you can see the problems of popular islands and places in Greece. Santorini visit more than 2 million tourists in a few months. Because of that, the mayor was forced to limit the number of tourists who daily land on Santorini at 8000. This limit applies to cruisers.
An increase in the number of tourists is such that local officials more and more talk about tourism as a curse rather than a blessing. The authorities are afraid of the consequences this visit leaves to the natural resources and infrastructure of the island. Although the island is only 76 square kilometers, more than 5.5 million overnight stays were recorded last year, so water and energy consumption is huge. Growth is radical and it's hard to catch up with it. The mayor of Santorini says that they have built up numerous desalination plants and they are in the process of building another one, the largest in Greece, but that they fear that soon it will not be enough.
On the other hand, tourism represented the salvation of Greece during the crisis and it is now a motor of economy. Every fifth resident of Greece works in tourism. Hotels that are far from the sea and revive less well-known places are built, the season spreads in spring and winter, and Asia was targeted as a great potential for additional tourism development in Greece. Last year, direct flights between Athens and Beijing were introduced.
Will this visit be returned to Greece as a boomerang, we will see, but tourism is blooming, that is a fact.
The most visited Greek islands are: