The Greek tourism sector has the potential to create 360,000 new jobs and generate annual revenues of €18-19bn over the next eight years if the number of foreign arrivals grows from 17m this year to 24m in 2021, according to the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises. Unemployment in Greece currently stands at 26.8 per cent.
This could be a boon for the struggling country, particularly following damning reports from respected Athens-based think tank IOBE and the Troika.
IOBE's report said that the Greek economy could contract by between 4.8 and 5.0 per cent this year, revised upwards from a 4.6 per cent fall, and will need to keep cutting public sector jobs and selling state assets.
And last night, Reuters published extracts from the latest 47-page report on Greece from the Troika – which formed the decision to give the country its most recent cash injection – showing Athens could face a fiscal gap of up to half a per cent of GDP (€2bn) this year and next if it fails to deliver on the reforms demanded by the Troika.