Greece set for bumper tourism year

Tourism arrivals in Greece are set to exceed 20 million this year, a sure sign that the tourism industry is heading for another record-breaking year following 2013's similarly strong figures.

Each year sees tourists flocking to hotspots around the nation, attracted by the history and culture as well as the renowned Mediterranean warmth. Tourism is a major employer and strong visitor stats are welcome in the country due to the six-year economic slump.

The government was quick to seize upon the good news, with prime minister Antonis Samaras announcing the predicted statistics during a press conference to the nation.

"2013 was a record year. In 2014, every indication shows that we are going to break this record," he said, adding: "Get ready for over 20 million visitors."

Tourists are thought to have been encouraged by a tax reduction on food services by ten percentage points. Culture minister Panos Panagiotopoulos claimed that longer operating times for museums and attractions have also contributed.

Predictions of more than 20 million visitors, as provided by the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, have been drawn from visitor figures in April, which more than doubled in 2014 compared to last year.

Island sites on Santorini proved attractive as always, as did the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion on Crete. Visitors to ancient Olympia – the birthplace of the most historical sporting event on the planet – also appeared strong. 

Of the 20 million arrivals expected in Greece this year, 2.2 million are expected to be made up of cruise ship passengers looking to explore the nation's stunning collection of islands, which contain fascinating historical sites, beautiful coves to swim in and spectacular stretches of sand.

Take full advantage of all these assets by booking a Seafarer cruise of the area that includes a full itinerary that allows you to experience the wonders of classical Greece.

Better still, avoid the crowds on once of Seafarer's trade mark mega yacht cruises that visit the smaller uncommercialised places the large cruise ships cannot reach.