Greece is booming as the country opens to tourists, with visitors making up more than half of its annual GDP growth, according to the Greek tourism ministry.

The tourism ministry says Greece’s economy is up 9 per cent this year compared to the same period last year, with a record high of 4.6 per cent.

The number of tourists is up 10 per cent compared to last year.

Tourism ministry head Nikios Louridas says tourism accounts for more than 40 per cent of the Greek economy.

But the growth of the tourism sector is down in comparison to the previous two years.

In January, tourism grew by 8 per cent in comparison with the previous year.

However, last year it grew by 11 per cent, and the ministry says this will be offset by a fall in visitors.

Tourists are now spending about $5 billion (US$4.3 billion) on accommodation, transport and entertainment facilities in the country, up 13 per cent from the previous three years.

Mr Louradas says the tourism industry has a new role to play.

“It is no longer a business.

It is a cultural sector, a cultural infrastructure.

It has a role to fill, and it will play a role,” he said.

Tourist arrivals are up 5 per cent on last year and the government is predicting a rise of another 4 per cent by 2020.

Topics:travel-and-tourism,travel-health,world-politics,travel,economic-trends,worldwar-2,european-union,germanyFirst posted May 08, 2020 09:25:35Contact Lisa Walker