Tourism takings came to 14.595 billion euros last year, Bank of Greece figures show, up from 13.206 billion in 2016 and 14.125 billion in 2015.
The difference from 2016 amounted to 1.38 billion euros, or 10.5 percent. This growth, along with the rise in shipping revenues (from 7.8 billion euros in 2016 to 9.15 billion in 2017), contributed decisively to the increase in the services surplus, according to the country’s central bank.
BoG attributes the rise in travel receipts to the increase in incoming tourism – estimated at 9.7 percent – and, to a lesser extent, the 1.4 percent growth in average spending per trip. Last year’s travel balance showed a surplus of 12.68 billion euros, up 13.2 percent from the previous year’s surplus.
Revenues from eurozone citizens increased 20.6 percent to 6.27 billion euros, while takings from non-eurozone European Union citizens grew 3.6 percent to 3.57 billion euros.
Nevertheless the seasonal character of Greek tourism remains a problem, as 70 percent of arrivals and almost 80 percent of overnight stays at Greece hotels were recorded in the four months from June to September, according to a study by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.