Like Turkey, Greece has seen its tourism takings decline this year, in contrast to Cyprus, Spain and Bulgaria, which have reported growth in tourism revenues, according to the latest official data that Kathimerini has compiled. The year is likely to end with a loss of half a billion euros for the local tourism industry and the economy in general.
In Greece there was a 7.1 percent drop in tourism revenues in the first eight months of the year compared to the same period in 2015, taking the total to 9.85 billion euros, according to Bank of Greece figures. Arrivals expanded 1.3 percent to reach 17.2 million in the January-August period.
Revenues from French tourists dropped 24.3 percent, from US visitors 24 percent, from the German market by 8.4 percent and from Russia 2.1 percent. In August alone tourism takings slumped 9.2 percent year-on-year, data showed.
According to the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis, the decline in revenues from tourism will exceed 500 million euros for the whole of the year compared to 2015.
Average spending per trip is much lower in Greece than at rival destinations, and goes a long way toward explaining the drop in revenues reported so far this year: In August average expenditure per visit to Greece amounted to 595.80 euros, against 873.20 euros in Cyprus and 1,026 euros in Spain.
On the other hand, Cyprus has been reporting some impressive tourism figures this year: Revenues in the year’s first eight months expanded 13.6 percent to 1.62 billion euros, with August revenues up 9.4 percent year-on-year. In the year to end-September foreign tourism arrivals increased 18.8 percent from last year to exceed 2.6 million, as Russian visitors soared 44.5 percent to 670,252.
In Turkey tourism revenues fell 38.3 percent in the January-September period, while arrivals shrank 32 percent to 20.25 million. Bulgaria is witnessing a year of growth as its revenues rose 15.7 percent in the January-July period to 1.75 billion euros. As for Spain, it is heading for a record year, with revenues rising to 53.8 billion by end-September, up 6.3 percent on last year.