Greece is renowned for its wonderful rugged landscape, its untouched gems, its endless coastlines, and its 6,000 islands and islets, famous all over the world, due to their unparalleled beauty.

The number of international tourist arrivals rose from 15,000,000 in 2010 to over 16,000,000 million in 2011, marking a 10% increase and in 2017 over 18,000,000 (almost twice the country’s population) international tourist arrivals occurred.

Beyond sea and sun, tourism forms an essential part of Greece’s identity, present and future.

VisitGreece’s complete travel guide, featuring up-to date information on how to explore the country with all your senses. Discover nature, sites and delights. Indulge in daydreaming and find out how to make it reality.

The journey starts here:

Tourism and Culture

The Unification of the Archaeological Sites of Athens

The project is cultural, environmental and developmental in purpose and it will contribute greatly to improving the quality of life in Athens. The project offers Athenians and visitors an aesthetically, environmentally and culturally friendly atmosphere, encompassing into the city’s life almost every monument linked to Athens’s historical span.

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Interact: Museums in the 21st century

Addressing the challenges of the EU 2020 Strategy and contributing to lifelong learning, the Learning Museum Network (LEM) project aims at creating a permanent network of museums and cultural heritage organizations. Museums in the 21st century can play an active role in lifelong learning society, increasing access to cultural life and fostering social cohesion, innovation and creativity.

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For a Sustainable Tourism Industry

According to data released annually by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) and the Bank of Greece, tourism is a major contributor to the Greek economy and a sector of rising competitiveness at a global level.

    • Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s GDP and employs more than 900,000 people, accounting for one fifth of the workforce.
    • The number of international tourist arrivals in 2017 (January – December) was 18,322,570

Did you know?

Greece has more international airports than most other countries.

Investment Opportunities

The increasing number of tourists and the evolving profile of today’s traveller demand new ideas and infrastructure projects. In Greece, investors will find a wide spectrum of opportunities, a friendly environment, and some of the most beautiful locations in the world.

Although the country’s tourism infrastructure is well developed, Greece is committed to establishing itself as a 12-month destination. Its Mediterranean climate is ideal for activities such as year-round golf and trekking and it is estimated that one million Europeans would consider Greece as a second home destination.

The targeted sectors for expansion include the development of integrated resorts and residential real estate, golf courses and sports tourism, wellness and health tourism, upgraded and new marinas, conference centres, agritourism products, religious tourism, thermal spas and thalassotherapy centres, culinary tourism, and a wide range of thematic offerings related to Greece’s rich cultural and historical heritage.

Growth Drivers

Investment Incentives Law

The New Investment Law for supporting Private Investment for Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship, and Regional Cohesion, was voted on and passed by the Greek Parliament and is to be implemented following the relevant Presidential Decrees and Ministerial Decisions.

Public Private Partnership

Greece’s newly implemented PPP (Public Private Partnership) scheme provides significant opportunities to investors to participate in new infrastructure projects, including marinas and thermal springs.

National Strategic Reference Framework

The National Strategic Reference Framework (NSRF) for the years 2007-2013 establishes the broad priorities for EU Structural Funds Programmes in Greece. Greece’s NSRF seeks to achieve a balanced development of the country, with 82 percent of its budget focusing on regional projects. With a total budget of almost €40 billion, NSRF will advance projects directly and indirectly related to tourism development and will provide investors with ample opportunities to participate in a wide number of projects.

For tourism, NSRF provides significant financial support, with a budget of more than €500 million until 2013. A core NSRF objective is to increase demand and upgrade the quality of the tourist product and tourist services at all levels. NSRF support focuses on:

    • prolonging the tourist period throughout Greece, and reducing seasonality
    • promoting the country’s international appeal as a safe and attractive tourist destination
    • Increasing the number of foreign visitors
    • Reinforcing domestic tourism.

Investment in the tourism sector will include the upgrade of marinas, the promotion of special forms of tourism, the creation of cultural pathways, the upgrade of winter tourism infrastructure, and the subsidizing of private investments, according to the new Incentives Law that was implemented in 2011.


Inherent in Greece’s tourism development policy is the issue of sustainability. Many hotels and resort complexes are installing photovoltaic systems in an effort to become more carbon neutral. The need for new and efficient building solutions, desalination plants, energy efficient power supplies, closed loop resource systems, and software monitoring systems are just some of the areas in which Greece’s tourism sector will take advantage of new technologies for years to come.

Also, Greece is promoting its unique ecosystems and nature reserves, many listed under the Ramsar Treaty. These are exceptional destinations where visitors may enjoy some of the most diverse flora and fauna in Europe. From bird watching to mountain hiking, activities that can be combined with distinctive lodging and singular experiences are highly popular for today’s traveller that is seeking out-of-the-ordinary experiences.

Human Resources

Because Greece, a country of 11 million inhabitants, hosts more than 17 million visitors, education and training in tourism services is paramount. The workforce is multilingual, well versed in the tourism sector, and willing to respond to new challenges. From management to catering, human resources for tourism enterprises is a Greek strength.

Ministry of Culture and Tourism

Reflecting the importance of tourism to the Greek economy, a ministry dedicated to formulating and overseeing tourism policy is a core component of the Greek government. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism coordinates a wide number of diverse policies and developments with other ministries so that Greece’s tourism sector remains strong, vibrant, and responsive.

Greek National Tourism Organisation

The Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), under the direction of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, is responsible for promoting tourism in Greece and oversees a number of organisations related to tourism education, development, and real estate.

Global Marketing Support

Greece as a tourism destination enjoys an extensive, multilingual, global marketing campaign in all media. In addition, Greece is fully represented at all key tourism trade shows and is promoted by major travel and tour operators worldwide.