British visitors to Greece outnumbered those coming from Germany in the first seven months of the year, putting an end to the 10-year domination of German tourists, according to data released on Tuesday by the Bank of Greece.
The number of foreign tourists increased by 14.2 percent year-on-year in the January-July period, reaching 11.97 million. Based on that growth, it is now certain that the Greek destination will see more than 26 million visitors for the entire year for the first time ever.
This was assisted to a great extent by the impressive increase in Britons coming to Greece, amounting to 29.3 percent more than the same period in 2014, taking the total to over 1.3 million in the year to end-July. Arrivals from Germany grew 23.6 percent to reach 1.29 million, while those from France expanded 7.3 percent to exceed 715,000. The number of Russian visitors declined considerably, by 65.2 percent, bringing the total to 235,000, but this was offset by the large increase in US tourists, whose number increased by 34.8 percent on an annual basis, and adding up to a total of 395,000.
Travel receipts grew 6.2 percent year-on-year, coming close to 7 billion euros in the January-July period. Revenues from British tourists increased 37.2 percent to exceed 1 billion euros, while those from Germany rose 9.8 percent, to just above 943 million euros. Takings from US visitors expanded 16.9 percent to climb above 400 million euros. There was a 69.7 percent decline in receipts from Russians, to 197 million euros, and a 2.2 percent fall in takings from the French, to 489 million euros.
However, it must be noted that the increase in tourism arrivals amounted to just 4 percent year-on-year in July, owing to the problems in Greece in the period before the government’s agreement with its creditors.