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Tourism in Greece bounces back, but high inflation raises its head

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ATHENS — Foreigner Visitors flock to the Greek islands and ancient monuments, raising expectations for their important tourism industry after two years of turmoil.

Greece's tourism industry celebrated its worst year in history in 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak reduced global travel.

Authorities said the sector had record revenues of € 18 billion ($ 18.4 billion) this year, despite the growing global living cost crisis and the continued presence of the virus. Expected to bring 80%. 2019.

"We are delighted to welcome guests during the normal season after two years of intense pandemic," said Bavis, Ionia's hotel owner on Corfu Island. Vurgaris says. "Our hotel occupancy is high. We are optimistic for the rest of the summer."

Tourism accounts for one-fifth of the economy and one-fifth of work. The proportion is even higher in Corfu.

According to the Greek Central Bank, the sector began to recover last year and is expected to continue to grow over the next two years.

Vasilis Kikirias, Tourism Minister, warned that the pandemic, economic crisis and war in Ukraine created a "very, very difficult" background, "we are very happy and satisfied. I am doing it. "

Voulgaris, who heads the Corfu Hotel Management Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Tourism Federation SETE, to deal with the war-induced rises in energy prices, other inflation, and labor shortages. I agreed that the sector is still facing. "Many problems."

Energy inflation is "incredible", said Michael Minadakis, general manager of the luxury Grecotel Cape Snio Resort on the outskirts of Athens. He said he had reached the level.

"Electricity (price) can rise 100%, so does gas," he said.

Nevertheless, travel demand is high and this year's bookings began as early as last Christmas. Minadakis said the UK market (traditionally one of the largest markets in Greece) will triple compared to 2019.

Overall, "I think 2022 is even better than 2019," he said. ($ 1 = 0.9790 euro) (Additional report by Lefteris Papadimas, edited by John Stonestreet)