Greece set for a record-breaking year with visitor arrivals reaching 30m

Greece set for a record-breaking year with visitor arrivals reaching 30m

Greek destinations Heraklion and Athens are “standout performers in 2017”, according to research for World Travel Market London – the leading global event for the travel industry – released today (Tuesday 7 November) at WTM London.

The Cretan city of Heraklion is forecast to be the strongest performing city in Europe in 2017, closely followed in second place by the Greek capital Athens, according to the Top 100 City Destination Ranking WTM London Edition, by Euromonitor International.

Heraklion, which is ranked 66th place on the list, will see visitor arrivals rise by more than 11% this year, to more than three million, while Athens (47th) will see arrivals increase by 10%, to almost 10 million. Also in Greece, Rhodes (97th) is forecast to see arrivals rise by almost 8% to 2.3 million.

Tourism to Greece has performed strongly this year, thanks to a shift away from less stable destinations, according to the research.

The report says: “A familiar picture is forming, where the substitution effect means that cities in relatively quiet and stable countries are profiting from unrest in other countries.

“Spain, Greece and Italy are performing strongly, as they offer a similar climate to affected countries such as Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia.”

The Greek National Tourism Organisation expects a record-breaking 30 million international visitors to Greece for 2017 – up 7% year-on-year – as the destination has invested in its tourism industry and improved its image overseas.

Greece’s tourism policies have helped to extend the travel season, promote different thematic products, open new markets and boost connectivity by air, land and sea.

For the last two years, Greece’s growth has been nearly twice the global industry average of 3.9%.

The World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that tourism in 2017 will help boost the Greek economy by 6.9% – supporting nearly one million jobs and representing 20% of the country’s GDP.

WTM London, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “Greece has been a key exhibitor at WTM London for many years, so we’re delighted that the GNTO is our Media Partner for 2017. The partnership will enable the Greek tourism industry to get the message out to the world’s press that Greece is a destination in demand.

“The country has won several prestigious international travel awards this year – Athens, for example, was named as one of the New York Times’ 52 Places to Go in 2017.

“The Greek economy is reaping the benefits of investment in tourism and the GNTO’s participation at WTM London will build on that success.”

  • GNTO stands: EU1200, EU1250


About World Travel Market

World Travel Market (WTM) portfolio comprises five leading B2B events across four continents generating more than $7bn of industry deals. The five events are:


WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL – London every November generating around £2.8 billion of travel industry contracts. Next event: 6-8 Nov 2017 – London.


International Golf Travel Market (IGTM) now in its 20th edition, is the meeting place for the global B2B golf travel community. More than 600 golf tourism suppliers join 350 pre-qualified buyers and 100 international press for four days of unmissable pre-scheduled appointments, exclusive networking opportunities and invaluable industry and trend updates. Taking place in a different destination every year, IGTM brings together 1,400 golf tourism professionals from over 65 countries. Next event: 11-14 Dec 2017 – Cannes.


World Travel Market Latin America now in its fifth edition attracts about 9,000 unique senior executives. The event generates US$ 370 million of new business. Taking place in Sao Paulo Brazil, this show attracts a global audience to meet and shape the direction of the travel industry. More than 7,000 unique visitors attend the event to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry news. Next event: 3-5 April 2018 – Sao Paulo.


World Travel Market Africa launched in 2014 in Cape Town, South Africa. Nearly 5,000 travel industry professionals attend Africa’s leading inbound and outbound travel and tourism market. WTM Africa delivers a proven mix of hosted buyers, media, pre-scheduled appointments, on-site networking, evening functions and invited travel trade visitors. Next event: 18-20 April 2018 – Cape Town.


About Arabian Travel Market (ATM) is the leading, international travel and tourism event in the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals. ATM 2017 attracted almost 40,000 industry professionals, agreeing deals worth US$2.5bn over the four days. The 24th edition of ATM showcased over 2,500 exhibiting companies across 12 halls at Dubai World Trade Centre, making it the largest ATM in its 24-year history. Next event 22-25 April 2018 – Dubai.


About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events business, enhancing the power of face to face through data and digital tools at over 500 events a year, in more than 30 countries, attracting more than 7m participants.


About Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions is the world’s leading travel and tourism event’s organiser with a growing portfolio of more than 22 international travel and tourism trade events in Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Our events are market leaders in their sectors, whether it is global and regional leisure travel trade events, or specialist events for meetings, incentives, conference, events (MICE) industry, business travel, luxury travel, travel technology as well as golf, spa and ski travel. We have over 35 years’ experience in organising world-leading travel exhibitions.

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World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.

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