Tourism foreign exchange revenues were up 10 pct in the January-August period this year, compared with the corresponding period in 2010, totalling 7.718 billion euros, while tourist arrivals grew 9.9 pct over the same period, the Bank of Greece said in a report.

The central bank report noted that the tourism sector was taking a leading role in the Greek economy, helped by a strong recovery in tourist arrivals in the country. A total of 10.33 million visitors arrived in Greek airports in the January-September period this year, up 9.67 pct compared with the same period in 2010, a very significant figure for air travel in the country.

Tourism industry officials expect foreign visitors numbers to reach 16.5 million euros this year, with tourism revenues rising more than 12 pct for the year. Industry officials said that a 10 pct rise in tourism revenues equals a 1.0 pct increase in the country Gross Domestic Product.