Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO) has recently announced of receiving a record-breaking 30 million international visitors to Greece for 2017. For the past two years, Greece’s growth has been nearly twice the global industry average of 3.9% as reported by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) in January 2017.

This represents a growth rate of seven percent, or an additional two million additional visitors over the previous year. According to the GNTO’s New York branch, 900,000 American travellers are expected to visit Greece this year.

“We are very optimistic about the upcoming tourist season and our continued momentum. Greece’s incomparable natural beauty, ancient history, vibrant urban culture and spirit of ‘philotimo’ make it one of the world’s most unique and desired year-round destinations,” said Greek Tourism Minister, Elena Kountoura.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) estimates that tourism in 2017 will help boost the Greek economy by 6.9%, and will boost employment by 6.3%, supporting nearly 1 million jobs and representing 20% of the country’s GDP.

New flights and connections will make travelling to Greece easier in 2017, including daily yearround service by Emirates to Athens from Newark Liberty International Airport. Destinations such as Kos, Rhodes, Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Kephalonia, Zakynthos, Aktio and Thessaloniki now have direct flights or connections to a larger number of European cities, as well as the U.S., China, India, Russia and Israel.

The GNTO’s development strategy includes increasing access via air, land and sea. An increased focus on audience segmentation including luxury, religious, cruises, yachting, diving, cultural tourism, adventure, LGBT and new international markets along with the use of new technology platforms and social media.