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Greece’s Winning and Losing Destinations in First Half of 2017

Photo source: Region of Attica

The South Aegean, Crete, Attica and Central Macedonia recorded an increase in revenue, number of visits and overnights stays for the first half of the year while Western Macedonia, Central Greece and the Peloponnese experienced a marked decline in the same indicators, according to a study carried out by INSETE, the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) intelligence unit.


Zakynthos, Ionian Islands.

Titled “Winners and Losers”, the study examined incoming tourism for each region comparing first half data for 2016 and 2017 based on number of visits, overnights stays and revenue. Between January and June this year, a total of 9,025 thousand visits were made to the country’s 13 regions with Attica, Central Macedonia, the South Aegean, Crete, the Ionian isles, and East Macedonia and Thrace accounting for 87.7 percent of all visits.

Five regions — the South Aegean (921 million euros), Crete (906 million euros), Attica (803 million euros), Central Macedonia (469 million euros), and the Ionian islands (395 million euros) — collected 88.9 percent of Greece’s travel receipts for the January-June 2017 period which came to 3,930 million euros.

Epirus, Ioannina. Photo © kostasgr / Shutterstock

Ioannina, Epirus.

The remaining 437 million euros was divided among the Peloponnese, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Thessaly, Epirus, Western Greece, Central Greece, North Aegean and Western Macedonia.

In terms of overnight stays, the South Aegean Region, Crete, Attica, Central Macedonia and the Ionian islands accounted for 86.8 percent.

In the meantime, the Ionian isles and Thessaly recorded an increase in  receipts but fewer overnight stays. The Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Western Greece and Epirus regions saw a drop in revenue but and increase in visits. While the North Aegean marked declining revenue and visits but increased overnight stays.

In terms of yield, Crete, the Ionian isles, the South Aegean and the North Aegean recorded the highest earnings per visit, while the Ionian islands, Crete, the South Aegean and Attica made higher profits per overnight stay.

Overall, for the first half of 2017, tourism revenue across Greece grew by 6.9 percent, the number of visits was up by 5.8 percent and overnight stays by 4.9 percent.

Earnings per visit came to 435 euros, earnings per overnight stay at 67 euros and average duration of stay was 6.5 days. The only indicator that dropped across Greece was average duration of stay down by 0.9 percent.

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