Last Update December 25th, 2015

Happy Travellers

Photo Credits: Studio Kristo

Incredible record for Greek tourism in 2015, new record expectations in 2016.

Greece has always been a very safe country to travel, and on many of the isles, even today, residents don’t need to lock their doors. In fact, 2015 was the best year ever for tourism to Greece. According to Mr. Andreas Andreadis, president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises, the total number of international arrivals by airplanes, cars and boats reached 26 million

[1], up from 22 million in 2014.

At the same time, the Greek tourism Minister, Ms Elena Kountoura expects Greece to welcome even more holidaymakers in 2016, breaking all tourist records, thanks in part to unrest and fears over terrorism in North Africa and the Middle East. [2]

Terror Threat has been eliminated

Domestic Terrorism

In 2002, the Greek Police arrested most of the members of the 17 November organization. This terrorist organization committed dozens of attacks and murdered 23 people in Greece, including the murder of the CIA Athens station chief, Richard Welch, in 1975. Today, it’s no longer an active threat according to the US State Department [3].

International Terrorism – ISIS


Greece is not among the number of danger zones. The Greek Defense Minister, Mr. Panos Kammenos said that France has not asked anything from Greece regarding a possible military operation against the jihadists. The called the case of the Islamic State of ISIS as the “absolute asymmetrical threat.” The recent example is what happened in France. Three of the perpetrators were permanent residents of France; others that passed from Greece were identified where in other EU countries were not identified, he said. [4]

The minister’s comments were echoed by his deputy. Greece is ruling out the possibility of taking part in military operations against the Islamic State in Syria, alternate Minister of Defence Dimitris Vitsas said.”I do not think anyone can force us. Greece plays a different role. We want a decision that will include an element of political stability in Syria,” he added. [5]

What about Protests and demonstrations?

Greek protestors

During the first austerity measures in 2010, some of the of the largest demonstrations in Greece took place mainly in Athens. [6] Today things have changed. Travelers should know that a very big percent of the Greek population lives from the tourism and Greek protesters have never been involved with tourists. Μore specifically, tourism today, offers 750,000 direct jobs, numbers that rise to 1.5 million jobs including indirect tourism-related jobs. [7]

As of now, there are no disruptions at tourist destinations, or in the operation of hotels and tourism-related activities. The latest political and economic developments affect local residents only. [8] Also, protests and demonstrations are usually localized only in the center of Athens, around the Syntagma square. The American embassy also keeps a calendar of planned demonstrations, which will help you steer clear of any trouble.


Greek banks re-opened on 20 July 2015, although some banking services remain limited for the Greek residents. The credit card payment system is functioning and daily ATM withdrawal limits do not apply to foreign credit cards. [9]

Conclusion – So, is Greece a safe country for tourists?

Absolutely, not only for tourists but for the residents too. Looking forward to welcoming you to our magnificent country, the wonderful, amazing Greece.

1. Greek Reporter: New Record for Greek Tourism: Around 26M Arrivals in 2015. Retrieved December 27th, 2015
2. Telegraph: What crisis? Greece expects record visitor numbers in 2016. Retrieved December 27th, 2015
3. The Guardian: Greek leftist group November 17 removed from US terror list. Retrieved November 27th, 2015.
4. Greek Reporter: Defense Minister Kammenos: ‘ISIS Ιs the Αbsolute Αsymmetrical Τhreat’. Retrieved December 27th, 2015
5. The toc: Government rules out joining military campaign against ISIS. Retrieved December 27th, 2015
6. Wikipedia Anti-austerity movement in Greece. Retrieved, November 27th 2015.
7. Reuters: Crisis, what crisis? say tourists flocking to Greece. Retrieved December 27th, 2015
8. Fortune: Should you cancel that Greek vacation? Retrieved, December 1st 2015.
9. Business Insider: If you’re not Greek, you can take out as much money as you want from an ATM in Greece. Retrieved, December 1st 2015.

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