Germans and Brits are vital for tourism


German and British holidaymakers accounted for a third of arrivals from abroad and 30 percent of tourist spending last year, according to Bank of Greece data for 2016 processed by the Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).

The regions that enjoyed the highest spending by visitors were Crete, the Southern Aegean (including the Cyclades and the Dodecanese) and the Ionian Islands. In those three regions spending per tourist exceeded 600 euros, against a national average of 449 euros.

The regions with the highest flow of incoming tourism were the Southern Aegean, Crete, Central Macedonia (including Thessaloniki and Halkidiki), Attica and the Ionian Islands. However, due to the different profile of the average tourist in each region, while Central Macedonia saw the greatest number of visitors, the Southern Aegean and Crete had the highest number of overnight stays and the highest takings. Attica also posted higher revenues from tourism than Central Macedonia, while the Ionian Islands were just below.

Those five regions out of the country’s 13 accounted for 82 percent of Greece’s 28.4 million visitors in 2016, 85 percent of a total 190.4 million overnight stays and 88 percent of total takings of 12.7 billion euros.

The regional breakdown found German and British visitors had a high presence in all regions last year, particularly in terms of overnight stays and spending, regarding which tourists from the two countries made it into the top three for all 13 regions.

The only notable difference compared to the rest of the country was in Attica, whose top three markets were Britain, the US and Cyprus.

In total, the top five markets (Germany, Britain, France, US and Italy) accounted for 39.4 percent of visits, 47.8 percent of overnight stays and 50.3 percent of spending.

Notably, the Southern Aegean, Crete and the Ionian Islands, the Greek regions that receive the typical sea-and-sun seekers, showed the highest rates of spending per trip, spending per overnight stay and average duration of stay.