Shipwreck beach in Greece

Tourism in Greece across the last 11 months has been exceptional. Reaching new heights, a flurry of new tourists has visited the country, enjoying the breathtaking landscapes and experiencing the vibrant culture. However, speaking at the “Blue Flags” annual meeting held by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of Nature, Greek Tourism Minister, Elena Kountoura, has revealed just how many people have travelled to Greece throughout 2018.

Speaking at the meeting, Kountoura stated: “revenue has double-digit growth, about 17 per cent compared with 2017, so tourism is the economic power of our country, and we have to protect it and work hard.”

The news should come as no surprise for the country, however. In data collected by the Bank of Greece, they found that tourism numbers for January to June were 22.9% higher than in previous years. Up from 8.5 million to 10.5 million people, this had an amazing impact on the economy, which increased by 17.2% when compared to the same period in 2017.

The Blue Flag meeting also discussed the quality of the beaches in Greece. The country currently has the second highest number of Blue Flag beaches and marinas after Spain. At the 2018 meeting, an additional 15 marinas and one sustainable tourism boat were also awarded the accolade. Most of the Blue Flag awards given to the country were for beaches in Halkidiki, situated in northern Greece.

“Greece is actively involved in and supports the Blue Flag program and is home to 519 award-winning coasts and 15 certified marinas, maintaining its 2nd place world ranking on the Blue Flag quality award list,” said Minister Kountoura.

“We are seeking to maintain our high ranking, making sure that we meet the criteria every year, restoring Blue Flags, and committing to working hard so that in 2019 more Greek beaches gain Blue Flag status.”

In addition to the fantastic beaches, there are myriad reasons why you should consider booking a last-minute singles holiday to Greece. From the interesting history, beautiful scenery and incredible cuisine, you’ll soon understand why it is so popular with tourists from across the globe!