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
eTN is a media partner for WTM.