Greece expects 2 million more tourists this year – report

Greece expects to attract an additional 2 million tourists in 2018 after arrivals surged 20 percent in the first quarter, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said, according to Ekathimerini newspaper.

Arrivals in Crete jumped 800 percent to more than 50,000 visitors in the quarter and some areas of Greece that are not normally tourism areas during winter are attracting tourists in record numbers, she said.

Greece is competing with countries such as neighouring Turkey and Spain for tourists this year as European demand increases. Turkey and Spain are also reporting an increase in arrivals, with Spain expected to operate near capacity this season.

Kountoura said that more than 25,000 new beds were added to major four- and five-star hotel units of over 300 beds each, showing the increased demand.

Greece has the capacity to absorb the extra number of tourists, Koutoura said, pointing to investments made in the industry over the past two years.