Greek tourism recorded a net revenue gain of 7.4 billion euros in 2003, according to the official Eurostat data published last month in Brussels. The revenue from tourists who visited Greece came to 9.6 billion euros in 2003, while Greek tourists spent around 2.2 billion euros abroad. Greece’s net revenue in its tourism balance is the fourth greatest among the 25 EU members, behind Spain with 29.5 billion euros, France (11.6 billion euros) and Italy (9.4 billion euros).
The total tourism income for all 25 EU countries in 2003 was 213.4 billion euros, down by 4 billion euros from 2002. Greece’s revenue of 9.6 billion euros makes it the EU’s seventh most profitable touristically, with 4.6 percent of total EU tourism revenue. Spain, perennially atop the list, took in 37 billion euros, followed by France (32 billion) and Italy (28 billion).
The same report reveals that tourism in the EU relies primarily on internal tourism, as 74 percent of all tourists in the Union originate from the 25 member states. The Germans are the most frequent visitors to Greece (27 percent of the total), with the British (20.3 percent), the French (6.6 percent) and the Italians (6.2 percent) following.
The Germans generally travel more than other Europeans to EU destinations, comprising 23 percent of tourists in the bloc. The British come second (19 percent) and the French third (5 percent). As for tourists from outside the EU, the Americans hold the lead with 7 percent of all tourists visiting the European Union.