A report by INSETE, Greece’s Companies Institute says the Greek tourism Industry during 2018 accounted for a staggering 21.6 billion euros in revenue amounting to 11.7% of the GDP. Proving to be a strong sector for the economy, foreign visitors generated 90% of the revenue.
In 2018, just over 30 million foreigners descended on Greece and its surrounding islands to enjoy the famed beaches, delicious cuisine, and exceptional culture. This was an increase year-on-year of 10.8%. 68% came in via airports while 29% arrived by road.
The same report calculated that each tourist spent an average of 526 euros. With the main bulk of visitors arriving from April to September, this is enough to generate 411,000 jobs in a country where 44.2% of people work in the industries. Statistics also revealed that some of the highest per capita regions were reliant on tourism, showing 71.2% for the Ionian islands alone.
Although British tourists decreased by 0.5%, Germans increased by a staggering 25.1%, Americans by 19%, but Russians visitors dropped by 15.5%. With some destinations keen to tap into Greece’s popularity, they have increased their regular seasons to November, instead of October.
These success stories are catching the eyes of investors, both those who want to expand on the hotel trade, and independent self-catering rentals. In the last two years, 44 five- and four-star hotels sprung up in Crete. Kos, Rhodes, and Santorini are other destinations with hotel developments leading the property market.
While holiday homes come in a close second, the reason for their popularity is that luxury rentals provide some of the best revenue in the Mediterranean, and compared to places like Turkey, there is less tax to pay on income. With sites like Airbnb driving this travel sector, savvy investors who know what they are doing can generate a healthy income.
Holiday homes also have another advantage to foreigners investing in the Greek tourism Industry and the housing market. Anyone who buys a property worth 250 thousand euros can receive a golden visa, and access to all Schengen states.
Proving popular with Chinese, Russian and Turkish buyers, Greece granted 3154 home buyers with the visa from January to August 2018. Such is the popularity of these schemes worldwide, in 2018, Turkey dropped its citizenship investment level from 1 million USD to 250,000 to compete with other countries.
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