Travel receipts recorded a historic high last year, as according to provisional data by the Bank of Greece issued on Thursday they reached 18.15 billion euros, against 16.08 billion in 2018 and 14.63 billion in 2017.
That was thanks to the 12.8 percent increase in receipts from travel services and the 4.1 percent rise in arrivals of non-residents of Greece compared to 2018. December also showed significant growth in receipts from a year earlier.
These figures reflect the rise in average spending per visitor after the upgrading of the services provided and infrastructure. This points to a clear improvement in the quality of visitors coming to Greece.
Nevertheless, expectations for this year are quite reserved as the local tourism industry is on full alert trying to assess the possible fallout from the coronavirus outbreak in China. The experience of global tourism during the SARS epidemic almost two decades ago was quite traumatic, and concerns are growing of an expanded recession in tourism that could also hurt Greece. This would be quite likely if the virus spreads in Europe and affects European citizens’ intentions to travel abroad.