Crete Region of Greece
© Copyright to leoks / Shutterstock

Crete

Top tourist destination in Europe

Voted one of Europe’s Top 5 tourist destinations

The island of Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and a premier tourist destination.

Crete has been a prime tourism destination since the 1960s. The island offers sandy beaches and a rich cultural history that includes ancient sites like the Minoan-era palace of Knossos and the medieval Venetian town of Chania, while it is also the birthplace of renowned Greek artists like writer Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek, and the painter El Greco.

As the southernmost point of Europe, the island enjoys a mild and sunny climate that has helped turn Crete into a major agricultural producer and exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables, olives and olive oil, dairy products and cheeses, as well as signature wine vintages. The development of greenhouse agriculture has further extended the growing season on Crete and allowed for the cultivation of new fruit and vegetable produce.

After years of delay, Crete is slated for several major public works projects that will improve the island’s infrastructure. Central to the upgrade is a new airport at Kasteli, south of the island’s capital at Heraklion, and a new highway stretching across the north shore of Crete.

On the energy front, Crete is involved in two landmark power interconnection projects. The Crete-Attica interconnection, valued at €1 billion, is slated for completion in 2023 and will end the islands energy isolation from Greece’s mainland. The Crete-Peloponnese interconnection project, an investment with an estimated value of €324 million, is also underway and is slated to be the longest submarine AC interconnection upon its electrification in 2020.

Copyright: Neirfy / Shutterstock

Key Facts
Crete

One of Greece’s leading tourism destinations with more than 5 million visitors

Major public works programmes include a new airport, road network, and power connections

Established start-up scene centred around the University of Crete

Tourism

Copyright: Georgios Tsichlis / Shutterstock
Artem Kontratiev / Shutterstock

Infrastructure and Logistics

Start-ups

Copyright: uzhursky / Shutterstock
Place your mouse over a sector to view its regional opportunities.

Regional Opportunities

Tourism

Artem Kontratiev / Shutterstock

Infrastructure and Logistics

Start-ups

Crete welcomed more than 5 million tourists in 2018.

Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and is one of Greece’s Top 5 tourist destinations, having been voted as one of the five best destinations in the world for travellers. Crete welcomed more than 5 million visitors in 2018, representing about one sixth of Greece’s tourist arrivals, and collected 20% of national tourism receipts. The island is also a major investment destination for leading international travel and has tourism operators with several major resorts and hotel complexes planned.

Learn more about Tourism in Greece

Some €7 billion worth of infrastructure projects are planned.

Crete is poised for an economic take off with some €7 billion worth of investments in infrastructure and privatisation projects planned. These include a new €1.5 billion airport near Kastelli, the second phase of a €1.7 billion highway project along the north coast of Crete, and two separate projects to connect the island with the mainland’s electricity grid worth more than €1 billion combined. Greece’s privatisation agency is moving ahead with plans to tender the port of Heraklion, Crete’s largest port and a major cruise ship destination, while a large seafront land parcel – the site of a former U.S. military base just east of Heraklion – is also being privatised.

Learn more about Infrastructure and Logistics in Greece

Home to a leading research foundation and science and technology park.

The Foundation for Research and Technology-Hellas is one of Greece’s largest research organisations, having created the Science and Technology Park of Crete, offering incubating and start-up facilities. Combined with other research labs and initiatives centred around the University of Crete, the island is a leader in Greece’s technology scene.

Learn more about Start-ups in Greece

Crete
In Numbers

Crete has seen a boom in tourism in recent years and is attracting both public and private investment that is helping to boost the local economy.

  • €9,386 million

    GDP in 2018, in current prices

  • €14,800

    Per capita GDP in 2018, in current prices

  • 15%

    Percentage of visitors out of Greece’s total in 2018

  • 30.1%

    Increased performance in innovation according to the EU’s Regional Innovation Scorecard 2019

Copyright: ESB Professional / Shutterstock

Crete Demographics

Crete has a large student population with a focus on STEM learning.

Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean and represents the southernmost point of Europe. The island was the home to the Bronze Age Minoan civilisation, Europe’s first civilisation, often identified with the ancient palace of Knossos. Its capital city, Heraklion, is the fourth largest city in Greece with a population of 312,514 (2018) and is home to one of Greece’s leading universities, particularly notable in technology.

  • 634,930

    Population (2019)

  • 5.92%

    Share of Greek population (2019)

  • 26.6%

    Tertiary Educational Attainment of population aged between 25-64 (2018)

  • 76.4/km2

    Population Density (2018)

Sources: Eurostat, Hellenic Statistical Authority, European Commission, Regional Governments, SETE, Enterprise Greece, and HWEA

Related Insights

Partners of Greece Investor Guide

Greece is gearing up to start its “I Save at Home” programme, worth €850 million at this point, and they’re hoping that investors will recognize that now is the time for energy investment.

Minister of Development and Investment @AdonisGeorgiadi is delivering a “new Greece” through the creation of the new National Development Plan.

Santorini has topped nearly every traveler’s bucket list at one time or another, and it’s easy to see why. Blue isn’t just blue in Santorini, it’s so cosmic and deep it feels like you could fall into it forever.

Reggeborgh Invest acquired 5% of the ELLAKTOR Group in shares, with the right to increase their participation to 17.5%, indicating that the Dutch are strongly interested in the Greek construction market.

Marfin Investment Group (MIG) announced that British investment group CVC Capital has taken its investment plans into Greece’s food sector through its acquisition of Vivartia group (jointly controlled by MIG).

Load More...
Back to top button
Close
Close