Greek Tourism Boom Means Growth May Top 3.2{3b930a6ca12a59604e1bbadfc55b7d1b7a0aa8613f1ab9377cace0d5afcb5fb9}, Stournaras Says

Greek Tourism Boom Means Growth May Top 3.2{3b930a6ca12a59604e1bbadfc55b7d1b7a0aa8613f1ab9377cace0d5afcb5fb9}, Stournaras Says


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The Greek economy may grow more than expected as tourists return to the country in greater numbers, according to the central bank chief.

An expansion of “3.2{3b930a6ca12a59604e1bbadfc55b7d1b7a0aa8613f1ab9377cace0d5afcb5fb9} is our baseline scenario at the Bank of Greece, but this is based on the assumption that revenues from travel, from what we call tourism, is going to be 80{3b930a6ca12a59604e1bbadfc55b7d1b7a0aa8613f1ab9377cace0d5afcb5fb9} of the revenues of 2019,” Yannis Stournaras said in an interview Saturday. “It seems to be that it is going to be close to 100{3b930a6ca12a59604e1bbadfc55b7d1b7a0aa8613f1ab9377cace0d5afcb5fb9}. So 3.2{3b930a6ca12a59604e1bbadfc55b7d1b7a0aa8613f1ab9377cace0d5afcb5fb9} perhaps is on the lower end of the probability distribution.”

The tourism sector is vital for Greece and the industry accounts for about a fifth of its economy and more than a quarter of jobs. While a cost-of-living crisis means European consumers have cut back on some spending, foreign travel has proven an exception and tourists are flocking to Greece.

The country also is in a better situation than some of its euro-area peers in regard to the threat of Russia cutting off energy deliveries. Greece will likely avoid a recession should shipments halt completely, Stournaras said. 

“Greece has quite diverse sources of natural gas, of liquefied natural gas — it has done its homework for many months now,” he said. A complete stop would mean “the growth rate falls a lot, but it does not become negative,” he said. “We’ll not fall into recession.”

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