BUSINESS

Record drop in average spending by holidaymakers

STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

TAGS: Tourism

The annual drop in spending per trip by foreign tourists in Greece in the first nine months of the year was the biggest of the last decade, according to data released by the Bank of Greece.

Average spending per visit in the January-September period this year amounted to 546.60 euros, down 9.3 percent from 2015. In September alone average spending came to 523.40 euros, down 10.1 percent from September 2015, which was also the biggest annual drop this decade for that month.

This development confirms tourism professionals’ warnings that Greece would this year attract budget holidaymakers that didn’t travel to Turkey due to the political and security problems in the neighboring country. Foreign visitors made the most of the special offers made by Greek hoteliers to bolster demand, so tourism revenues declined.

The profile of visitors to rival destination Spain was so different that average spending per trip to the Iberian country during the same period came to 92.1 percent more than in Greece, at 1,005 euros.

In the first nine months of 2016 Greece suffered a major decline in takings from US tourists, amounting to 26.7 percent, or 228.2 million euros from 2015. French visitors spent 24.3 percent less, Germans reduced their spending by 10.4 percent, and Britons parted with 5.6 percent less money this year.

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