ECONOMY

Travel receipts dipped 4.6 pct in 2012

Travel receipts in Greece registered a decline of 4.6 percent, or 480 million euros, last year compared with 2011, amounting to 10 billion euros, according to data made public on Thursday by the Bank of Greece.

Foreign visitor arrivals fell on annual basis by 5.5 percent or 910,000, totaling 15.5 million. However, average expenditure per trip per individual increased by 1 percent, coming to 646 euros.

The official figures regarding the losses for Greek tourism during what was a difficult year were significantly smaller than anticipated at the start of 2012. The formation of a stable government managed to reverse the negative climate prevailing before the back-to-back elections last spring, when rumors about the possibility of Greece exiting the eurozone were widespread, and led to an increase in tourism numbers.

Travel receipts from the US declined by 20.7 percent to 422.5 million euros, from Germany by 10.2 percent to 1.65 billion and from France by 8.8 percent to 765.5 million. On the other hand, receipts from the Russian market expanded by 27.5 million euros to reach 947 million euros, while arrivals from the British market spent 18 percent more, amounting to 1.42 billion.

US visitor numbers dropped by 22.9 percent to 374,000, from the French market by 15 percent to about 977,000, and from Germany by 5.9 percent to 2.1 million tourists. Russia showed an 18.4 percent increase in arrivals to about 875,000, and UK arrivals posted growth of 9.3 percent to 1.92 million.

Nevertheless, bookings for 2013 are showing a significant increase from the main markets, which include Germany, Britain, Russia and Austria.