The tourism industry is an important part of Greece’s economy. According to preliminary estimates by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the sector contributed 19.6% (€35 billion) to Greece’s GDP in 2017. WTTC expects its share of GDP to grow to 23.8% (€54.7 billion) by 2027.
The Aegean islands are one of the country’s most important regions in this regard and are growing in popularity among tourists compared to the rest of Greece. According to the Association of Greek Tourism (SETE), local airports handled 9.5% more international passengers compared to 2016 (4.1 million in total) compared to the average nationwide figure of 8.6% (18.4 million in total).
According to a survey by Greek real estate company Algean Property, visitors to the Aegean islands spent €3.3 billion over the first nine months of 2017, which exceeds the 2016 total (€3.1 billion) and tourist receipts in every other Greek region. The average tourist expenditure on the islands also increased from €600 in 2016 to €647 in 2017.