BUSINESS

Greek tourism relies on six markets

LINA GIANNAROU, DESPINA KONTI

TAGS: Tourism

Greek tourism relies heavily on six markets for visitors and revenues, while five of the country’s 13 regions accounted for over 80 percent of visits, according to 2018 data collected and processed by the Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (INSETE).

The study, which was based on Bank of Greece data and presented on Thursday, showed that tourism arrivals in Greece last year added up to 34.83 million, representing an annual increase of 12.3 percent.

Travel receipts posted a slightly more moderate expansion of 10.2 percent year-on-year, to 15.65 billion euros, while the number of nights spent in Greece by tourists in 2018 reached 227 million, an increase of 8.2 percent from 2017.

Expenditure per visit averaged at 449 euros, the average spending per overnight stay amounted to 69 euros, and the average stay duration in Greece per visitor was just shy of a full week, at six-and-a-half nights.

However, the data also reveal how dependent Greek tourism is on its main markets, namely Germany, Britain, the US, France, Italy and Russia; these six countries accounted for 41.5 percent of visitors, 49.7 percent of overnights stays in Greece and 52.2 percent of travel takings.

Germany appears to be the main pillar of Greek tourism, as travel receipts from Germans amounted to almost 3 billion euros or 16 percent of the year’s sum, while the Germans also accounted for 13.2 percent of overnight stays (42.5 million) and 18.2 percent of visitors (4.3 million), topping all three statistical categories.

The UK ranked second in terms of revenues and overnight stays, and third in visitor numbers: The INSETE study confirmed the decline from the British market, translating into 2 percent fewer visitors from 2017, 6.2 percent less in takings and 6.2 percent fewer nights stayed.

The 1.09 million US visitors made their country the eighth biggest market regarding arrivals, but they were third in spending at over 1 billion euros, and fifth in nights stayed (11.6 million).

Meanwhile, former deputy tourism minister Angela Gerekou was on Thursday appointed to chair the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO).

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