Albanian expats head home for the holidays.
Residents of Greece made more trips and spent more on traveling in 2018 compared to 2017, while also spending more nights away from home, according to a holiday survey published by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) on Friday.
Traveling abroad remains a distant dream for the vast majority of Greeks, while during vacations within the country’s borders most stay at their own holiday homes, or those of a friend or relative. That is because hotels and even rented rooms remain too expensive for most Greek tourists.
Last year 4.8 million of the country’s residents made 7.9 million trips, representing increases of 7.6 percent and 6 percent respectively from the year before. Most of those trips (96.2 percent) were made for personal reasons and 3.8 percent were made for professional purposes.
Seven out of eight trips (87.4 percent) were domestic, down from 89.5 percent in 2017, while trips abroad grew to 12.6 percent from 10.5 percent. Remarkably, the main foreign destination of Greek residents was Albania, due to visits by residents of Albanian origin: Therefore 16.2 percent of trips abroad were made to Albania, followed by Italy with 10.5 percent, the United Kingdom with 7.8 percent, Bulgaria with 7.5 percent and Germany with 6.2 percent.
The sum of nights spent away reached 79.1 million last year, while travel expenditure amounted to 2.49 billion euros, posting respective increases of 10.4 percent and 19.9 percent from 2017. ELSTAT noted that 2018 was actually the first time in the last seven years that expenditure for personal trips exceeded 2 billion euros.
Almost two-thirds (60.9 percent) of personal trips were made to non-leased accommodation, i.e. holiday homes owned by the individual or supplied by friends and relatives. These trips accounted for 78.9 percent of nights spent away. Trips to the travelers’ own holiday homes posted an annual rise of 6.8 percent last year, and nights spent away grew 19.4 percent.
About a third of trips abroad lasted between four and seven days, with average expenditure per night amounting to 53.9 euros. A quarter of domestic trips (24.1 percent) have a duration of between one and three days, during which the average amount of spending per night came to 73 euros, the data showed.