TOURISM
A million US visitors in Athens

Athens has developed into a booming 12-month tourism destination, and its biggest market is the US, a new survey is showing.

The Greek capital is also found to attract visitors with different travel motivations and overall their level of satisfaction remains high. However, the first signs of discomfort from overtourism are appearing, while in terms of cleanliness and safety, Athens’ score is much lower than in other areas.

American visitors to the capital per annum have more than doubled since 2019 to reach 1 million, followed by the British (687,000), Germans (478,000), French (462,000) and Italians (410,000), while 150,000 travelers came in 2023 from Australia and 95,000 from China. These data, among others, stem from the 19th Athens-Attica Visitor Satisfaction Survey conducted in 2023 by the Athens-Attica and Argosaronic Hotel Association (EXAAA) and GBR Consulting on Athens hotels, in collaboration with Athens International Airport (AIA).

Based on these figures 2023 was a record year for Athens tourism, with more than 7 million non-resident international arrivals at Athens Airport, up from 6.4 million in 2019 (+10%) and more than double compared with 10 years earlier, when 3.4 million tourist arrivals were recorded in 2014.

Tourist satisfaction has increased over the past 10 years from a low score of 7.7 in 2017 to 8.4 in 2022 and 2023.

The archaeological sites of Athens, the main attraction being the Acropolis with record levels of visitors in 2023, and its culture are listed as the main reason for choosing it as a destination. About 83% of visitors who traveled for leisure to Athens visited the Acropolis, while 56% of travelers who came to the capital chose it for its archaeological sites and cultural interest. The score in cultural matters is the highest, at 9.1.

From the research, at least 10 different “tribes” of visitors can be distinguished: enthusiasts of archaeology, art, action, nightlife, shopping, food in general, seafood, and those who are mainly people-oriented, professionals, transients and others.

Source: Ekathimerini.com

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