The Greek tourism industry will play a leading role in an effort to combat unemployment in the coming years, as the sector could create 220,000 new job positions from an increase in incoming tourist trends, a report by McKinsey showed on Friday.

    The report, conducted for the Federation of Hellenic Enterprises and the Hellenic Bank Association, said that the tourism sector’s contribution to the country’s GDP will surpass 20 pct, an estimate bringing the tourism sector’s director gross added value to 50 billion euros by 2021. These figures represent 44 pct of total new job positions in the next decade and 36 pct of the estimated economic growth of the country.

    The tourism sector’s workforce totaled 746,000 in 2010, according to data by World Travel & Tourism Council, or 17.9 pct of total employment in the country, while the industry contributed more than 16 pct of GDP, covering 1/3 of the country’s trade deficit.

    Greek tourism officials recently said that the country could service around 20 million arrivals by 2014, 20 pct up from this year’s record of 16.5 million arrivals.