Greece’s tourism revenues for 2016 slumped below those of 2015 and 2014 according to figures from the Bank of Greece. Traveler spending dropped by double digits, which accounted for the losses even amidst stellar tourist arrivals.
According to the news, tourism revenues from January to November 2016 amounted to only €914.4 million euros compared to the previous year. Spending per trip by visitors to Greece last year dropped by 11.2 percent from 2015, averaging at €518.40 euros against €584 a year earlier. The biggest decline observed by the bank was spending by French travelers, followed closely by US visitors. Of the major touristic flows measured, only the Russians increased their spending habit.
International arrivals in the period from January to November increased 4.9 percent to 24.2 million, with air arrivals growing 8.6 percent and road arrivals down 4.9 percent. In November alone, international arrivals added up to 716,800, a gain of 11.7 percent year-on-year.
Figures put the travel surplus at 11.16 billion euros in the year to end-November, down 7.7 percent from the 12.08 billion recorded in 2015. This was due both to the 6.6 percent decline in travel revenues and the 0.7 percent increase in travel payments. Net income from the supply of travel services offset by 74 percent the deficit in the balance of goods and contributed by 75.5 percent to the sum of net takings from services.
International arrivals to Greek airports “soared” from January to September, according to data released by Greek Tourist Organization (SETE). For Crete, the Ionian Islands and the Cyclades arrivals rose 11.3 percent, 12.2 percent, and 10.2 percent respectively in September on a year-on-year basis. Despite the massive influx, though, Greece as a “bargain” destination undoubtedly led to underspend. It will be interesting to see how the season plays out starting in Spring, where the ratio of arrivals to spend is concerned.