ATHENS, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Greece expects to welcome more than 30 million visitors in 2017, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday.
The remark was made as the Greek leader received the visiting Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization Taleb Rifai, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.
In 2016, 27.5 million tourists arrived in Greece, while in 2015 the number neared 25 million people, according to official data.
The tourism industry is traditionally one of the strong growth drivers of Greek economy and has shown remarkable resilience during the seven-year Greek debt crisis.
Tourism accounts for about 18 percent of Greek GDP and 18 percent of total employment, according to Greece's Tourism Ministry.
Despite the increasing tourist arrivals, international tourism receipts in recent years are declining, according to a report of the central Bank of Greece released last week.
In 2016, the amount of money tourists spent in Greece hit a 15-year low. On average, foreign visitors spent 514.3 euros (545 U.S. dollars) per trip last year compared to 579.6 euros in 2015 and 590 euros in 2014.
The annual revenue from international tourism arrivals last year reached about 13.2 billion euros down 6.4 percent compared to the previous year. (1 euro=1.06 U.S. dollar)