ECONOMY

South Aegean earns most from tourism

Of all the Greek regions, the Southern Aegean registered the highest number of overnight stays by holidaymakers as well as the greatest tourism revenues this year, while Central Macedonia had the highest number of tourism arrivals but also the lowest revenues, a survey conducted by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels and the TNS ICAP and Quantros companies showed on Wednesday.

The chamber’s president, Giorgos Tsakiris, said that 2014 will be “a crucial year for the country’s tourism recovery.” He added that for next year there has been an increase of more than 10 percent in advance bookings from the British market, of over 15 percent from Russia and over 10 percent from the Scandinavian market.

In August, a total of 3.9 million visitors spent 2.5 billion euros. This means that 22 percent of the whole year’s visitors arrived in one month and contributed 21.6 percent of the annual tourism revenues. Three-quarters (75 percent) of the revenues came from guests at Greek hotels, noted Tsakiris. He also pointed to the very low share entertainment comprises in tourism spending, at just 8.6 percent of all revenues, arguing that there is great scope for growth in that sector in Greece.