The shortfall in Greece’s tourism revenue in relation to the country’s increase in arrivals came to a halt in September, although the average per capita expenditure of tourists remained significantly reduced compared to the previous year.
According to the monthly report of SETE Intelligence, the research institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation, arrivals to Greece in September increased by 13.7 percent, while receipts grew by just 2.3 percent.
SETE Intelligence said that the discrepancy of the country’s tourist arrivals and receipts in the previous months and the continuing decline of the average per capita expenditure of tourists is almost exclusively due to the reduction in their average length of stay. The research institute also noted that the reduction of the average per capita expenditure was significantly higher in Greece than in rival countries during the high season (July and August) due to discounts and special last minute offers.
Regarding administrative data, October international flight arrivals at Greece’s main airports recorded an increase of 30.8 percent in regional airports and 13.5 percent in Athens airport. During the January – October period, arrivals in Greek regional airports grew by 9 percent and in the Greek capital by 8.3 percent. “The significantly higher arrivals in September and October suggest a reduction of seasonality”, SETE Intelligence underlined in the report.
Also, road arrivals in October rose by 12.5 percent compared to the same month last year, limiting the overall decline for the January – October period by a marginal -0.3 percent.
With the closing of the season, SETE Intelligence was able to measure the losses recorded on the Aegean islands (Kos, Samos and Mytilini) due to the “refugee crisis”. More specifically, Kos, Samos and Mytilini saw their arrivals plunge by 11.2 percent (-110,000 visitors), 23 percent (-17,000) and 57.3 percent or (-43,000) respectively.
SETE Intelligence noted that the forecast made during this year’s World Travel Market (WTM) London, regarding a some 20 percent increase in bookings for 2017, was among the positive developments for Greek tourism.