Tourism traffic in Greece declined by a less-than-expected 5.2 percent in the first nine months of 2012 on a yearly basis, according to official figures released on Friday by the Bank of Greece, while receipts were also down.
In the year to September traffic amounted to 13.4 million people, down from 14.2 million in the same period in 2011. Receipts from tourism fell 3.2 percent, while stay-overs went down to 126.7 million from 133.4 million in the first nine months of 2011.
The contribution of European Union countries to Greek tourism traffic amounted to 63.4 percent, entailing a reduction of 8.3 percent from the same period in 2011, mostly due to the 11.7 percent decline in arrivals from within the eurozone. Arrivals from European Union states outside the euro area declined by just 2.8 percent, amounting to 3.42 million travelers, down from 3.52 million a year earlier.
Arrivals from countries outside the EU posted a small increase of 0.6 percent, increasing their share of the total by 2.1 percentage points. The German market registered a 5.3 percent decline, French arrivals dropped 14.4 percent, while visitors from the United Kingdom grew by a considerable 15.3 percent. The number of arrivals from Russia posted an impressive jump of 23.7 percent. On the other hand those coming from the US slumped by 23.3 percent.
Receipts from EU visitors registered a 6.7 percent decline that amounted to 5.94 billion euros, which was 65.8 percent of the total receipts from tourism in the year to September. Receipts from non-EU tourists came to 3.09 billion euros, recording an increase of 4.1 percent.
Revenues from German visitors dropped 9.9 percent, amounting to 1.44 billion euros, while those from French tourists declined by 8.9 percent, dropping to 711 million euros, but those from British visitors grew 23.8 percent to reach 1.3 billion euros.
Russian tourists brought in 32.1 percent more money to Greece, which added up to 896 million euros, while receipts from American tourists predictably declined by 19.2 percent, shrinking to just 357 million euros, the Bank of Greece data showed.