Greece?s tourism: From 33,000 visitors in 1950 to 18 million in 2014
Tourism is Greece?s heaviest industry. It may sound like a common witticism to many people, but this is the truth and if you take a close look at the numbers, you will see it, too.
18 million tourists are expected to visit Greece during 2014; a number twice as big as Greece?s population.?However, a few decades earlier, back in the 1950s, the number of tourists that visited Greece hardly reached 33,000.
Of course, the situation in Greece at that time was totally different; the country was trying to heal its wounds caused by the Civil War and the World War while the Greeks were seeking better days.
Even if the tourism enterprises in Greece were not familiar with the ?management and promotion of tourism? at the time, the tourism industry was a fundamental phenomenon both financially and socially.
Assistant Professor of Thessaloniki?s Aristotle University at the Department of Economics?Stella Kostopoulou?presented a survey at the academic symposium of Aristotle University?conducted by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) concerning the development of the Greek tourism industry from 1950 to 2012.
According to the survey?s data, the number of tourists that visited Greece in the 1960s significantly increased (1,098 percent). Between 1961 and 1990 the phenomenon of mass tourism started to dominate globally in the tourism sector. Greece was not an exception. In 1990, the tourism sector reached its peak at a worldwide level.
Kostopoulou says that tourists who came to Greece over the past decades were interested primarily in visiting Athens in order to see the cultural monuments of Attica firsthand.
However, since the early 1970s, tourists prefer Greece?s islands and coastal regions for their vacations. The age of?mass tourism?started to dominate the entire industry.
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