The Challenge


8 years of financial crisis in Greece and tourism remains the bloodline of the Greek economy contributing more than 7,5% to the local GDP (for Turkey the number is even higher at 12,9%).

As WTTC recognizes, Travel and Tourism have a much greater contribution with indirect and induced impacts (e.g.  investment and government spending, purchases from suppliers, gastronomy, recreation, clothing, housing, household goods, employment and GDP).

In both countries travel and tourism’s contribution to GDP is mainly through leisure (GR 93,3% and TR 84,1%) and foreign visitor and domestic spending are almost equally distributed(GR 62,5% and TR 50%) and are expected to grow by 4,8% and 2,5% and by 6,5% and 2,7% respectively for Greece and Turkey, in 2027.

The Aegean Sea is the biggest asset in MELTEMI’s endeavor. Nevertheless, the recent migration crisis as well as political instability in the area along with several horrible terrorist attacks in Turkey have claimed a significant toll on both Greece and Turkey. According to the latest data, arrivals to the islands of the North Aegean Sea dropped by 70% in 2016, whereas in Turkey and its coastline the drop of foreign tourist arrivals reaches 25% in 2016.

Once a beloved destination from around the world, Aegean coastal tourism is today struggling to become relevant again.

This step back for the Aegean Sea reputation and “atmosphere” needs the specific destination to be reinvented as a safe and reachable multi attraction destination.