September 28, 2021
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240% More Tourists Visit Greece In 2021 Than In 2020

2.8 million people have chosen Greece for their holiday in July 2021. Holidaymakers were 240,2% more than a year ago in July 2020. Tourist revenues for the month amounted to €2.2 billion.

Julia Loko
Julia Loko

Investment programs expert

Residence permits in Greece by investment in real estate and renting to tourists

240% More Tourists Visit Greece In 2021 Than In 2020

Tourism is one of the leading industries in Greece: revenues from it account for about 20% of the country’s GDP. Statistics on the state of the tourism sector are regularly published by the Bank of Greece.

Let’s find out why tourists are coming to Greece in 2021 and how investors can benefit from the country’s tourism growth.

Which countries citizens most often choose Greece for their holidays in 2021

A total of 4.55 million international tourists visited Greece between January and July 2021. The result is also significantly higher than in 2020, with a year-on-year increase of 51,4%.

4.55 million tourists

have holidayed in Greece from January to July 2021

Among EU citizens, Germany and France are the most frequent visitors to Greece. In the seven months of 2021, the number of tourists from these countries increased by 156,3% and 343,6% respectively when compared to the same period in 2020.

Non-EU citizens have also become more frequent holidaymakers in Greece. The top 3 holidaymakers include citizens of the UK, the US, and Russia.

Number of tourists in Greece from January to July 2021


Why tourists from different countries are choosing Greece for a holiday during the pandemic

Open border. Greece was one of the first European countries to open its border to foreign tourists — on 14 May 2021. In September, the country is free to receive holidaymakers who present a negative PCR test result, a certificate of vaccination against coronavirus, or a certificate of a previous illness.

Greece has direct flights to most countries of the world. From Russia, direct flights are available to Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Corfu, Araxos, and Zakynthos.

Safety. 56,6% of the Greek population have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. In March 2021, 18 Greek islands received covid-free status. These include the islands of Kastelorizo, Nisyros, Chalki, Symi and Tyros.

A variety of holiday options.
Greece is ideal for beach holidays, with coastlines and islands lapped by the Ionian, Aegean, and Mediterranean seas. The most popular resorts are Crete, Mykonos, and Rhodes.
Connoisseurs of ancient history and culture choose Athens, Europe’s oldest capital. There are 110 museums in the city — and that’s just the archaeological ones.

The mountains cover 80% of Greece. Tourists are bound to see the legendary Olympus and Parnassus.

For diving the islands of NearnKameni, Crete, Mykonos, Lesvos, Kearnand Zakynthos are perfect. In the waters around these islands, you can see shipwrecks and swim with turtles.


Balos Lagoon on Crete — the confluence of three Greek seas

Why the high demand for holidays in Greece is beneficial for investors

Rising property prices. Greece’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. The faster the influx of tourists into the country recovers, the faster the economy grows. And with it, so do property prices.

Greek property is a liquid asset for investors. Prices for properties in the country have been rising steadily since 2017, as evidenced by data from the Central Bank of Greece. How Greek property prices have changed over the past 10 years.

Rental yields are as high as 4% per annum. Most of the year, the properties are rented out to tourists: the beach season in Greece lasts from May to October, when the water temperature in the sea is around +20 °C.

Up to 4% per annum

Rental yields in Greece

Rental prices vary from region to region. For example, a three-bedroom apartment in Athens will cost on average €715 per month, in Mykonos €1,735 per month, and in Lamia only €360 per month.

Residence permit in Greece by investment in real estate

Investors who buy property in Greece can obtain a temporary residence permit in the country. A residence permit allows you to enter the country at any time, regardless of coronavirus restrictions. Holders of residence permit cards have the right to live, work, conduct business, and study in Greece.

The residence permit card also replaces a Schengen visa for Russians: with a Greek residence permit, they are allowed to travel freely to Schengen.

In order to obtain a residence permit in Greece, you must invest at least €250,000 in real estate. You are allowed to buy residential property and building plots. Another option is to rent a hotel property or an apartment in a tourist complex.


minimum amount of investment in real estate in Greece

Immigrant Invest helps investors to choose properties and obtain a residence permit in Greece by investment. If you wish to purchase properties and become a Greek resident, seek advice from experts in investment programs.