Greece may see up to 2 mln more tourists this year

The number of tourists to visit Greece this year could jump by up to two million people, according to tourism group SETE.

The forecast is based on SETE data showing that airlines have increased the number of tickets to Greece this year to 20.2 million, up from 16.6 million in 2017.

This increase translates into one to two million more tourists, according to the tourism group.

The increase comes despite rising geopolitical concerns over fresh tensions between Greece and Turkey and the rebound of tourism in neighboring markets, such as Egypt and northern Africa, said SETE head Yiannis Retsos.

Greece's strong tourism sector has helped breathe life into the crisis hit real estate market. Bargain hunting by foreign buyers looking for a cheap home by the beach has helped lift demand for property on islands such as Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu.

Retsos warned however, that growth in Greece's tourism business may soon run out of steam due to expected growth in rival markets in the eastern Mediterranean and the need for Greece to take steps to improve investor sentiment.