According to the Leisure Travel Monitor, 2016 has been a banner year for Greek tourism. The German based analysts GfK measured the first eight months of 2016 Greek overseas visitors to the tune of more than 17.2 million compared with 17 million over the same period in 2015.
GfK measures outbound UK bookings through the whole of the travel agent market. According to the agency, Greece bookings are up in September by 13 per cent for Greece as a whole and 18 per cent for the Greek islands.
Crete, one of the most popular destinations, saw a 19.4% market share according to GFK, and the land of the ancient Minoans saw a 13 per cent increase in passenger numbers. Meanwhile, Rhodes had a 17.9% share of the market, and saw a 12 per cent growth in UK passenger numbers. Zante, with a 16.7% of the market share saw a six per cent increase, while Corfu, which has a 15 per cent share of the market, saw an 8 per cent growth from the UK.
The Piraeus Port Authority (OLP) reported cruise passengers to Greece between January and August 2016 at above 723,000 registering a 17.42 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2015. For August Greece also saw a 7.7 per cent increase of arrivals from the UK, welcoming approximately 1.9 million UK visitors compared to 1.8 million in the same period last year.
Key among the positive factors for Greece were arrivals from Germany and Russia, which grew by 10.6 and 12.4 per cent respectively. Christina Kalogera, director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation UK & Ireland Office had this to offer via press release:
“2016 has seen the third consecutive year of growth in tourism to Greece from the UK. Financial and political stability have contributed to this growth, but continuing investment in the tourism product has resulted in a dynamic choice for discerning visitors.”
Additionally, GfK reports Greece at position 22 among European nations, or one third less than the average in Europe, with Crete being one of the farthest behind. What this means in terms of tourism is more value per pound, dollar, euro, or rouble for certain purchases. This value also coincides with much needed income and revenue as the number of visitors rises. While the coindiding commerce is not a total “win-win” for Greek businesses, the needed trend is obvious.