A last minute rush of bookings to Greece in July may help achieve the goal of a six percent increase in arrivals to the country this year but is not expected to translate into more revenue, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) said on Wednesday.
SETE’s goal by end-2016 is for the total number of international arrivals to meet a target of 25 million (six percent increase) and tourism revenue to reach 14.55 billion euros (a 6.4 percent increase).
According to figures released by the confederation, in July international air arrivals at Greece’s main airports were up by 9.1 percent to 276,000.
Furthermore, road arrivals at main entry points of the country last month were up by 1.6 percent to 30,000 arrivals compared to the same period in 2015.
“It is necessary to reiterate that the above-mentioned increase will not represent all destinations, with whatever that means in terms of revenue for the state, employment and strengthening local communities”, SETE underlined.
“Regarding tourism entrepreneurship, it is certain that due to the current overtaxation, any rise in arrivals will not have a particular impact on business results, which are expected to be negative”, the confederation noted.
Crete, the Ionian and the Cyclades did exceptionally well in terms of arrivals in July as they recorded rises of 12.8 percent, 13.3 percent and 8.7 percent, respectively, compared with July 2015.
Arrivals to Athens and Thessaloniki were up by 10 percent and 11.4 percent respectively, while visitor numbers to Kos, Samos and Mytilini (Lesvos) had dropped by 13 percent, 16.3 percent and 62 percent, respectively.
Road arrivals from the tri-border entry point, Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey were up last month by 26.8 percent, 3.8 percent, 3.7 percent and 46.2 percent, respectively. On the other hand, arrivals to Greece from FYROM were down by 7.2 percent.
During the first seven months of the year, international air arrivals to Greece were up by 6.4 percent to some 556,000 arrivals.
Road arrivals at main entry points to Greece, during the January-July period, were down by 4.8 percent (307,000 less arrivals) compared to the same period in 2015.