Greek travel receipts came to a total of 14.6 billion euros in 2017, up by 10.8 percent compared to 2016, according to final data released by the Bank of Greece (BoG) on Monday.
The central bank cites the positive performance to an 8.5 percent rise in receipts from EU residents, to 9.872 million euros accounting for 67.4 percent of the total travel receipts, and to an 18.6 percent increase in receipts from non-EU residents at 4.330 million euros.
According to the BoG, the rise in travel receipts in 2017 over 2016 was driven by a 7.4 percent increase in the number of non-resident inbound visitors, as well as by a rise in average spending per trip by 15 euros or 3.1 percent.
At the same time, the balance of travel services posted a surplus of 12.7 billion euros, up by 13.6 percent, compared to a surplus of 11.2 billion euros in 2016, driven by a rise of 1.423 million euros or 10.8 percent in travel receipts and to a decline of 101 million euros or 5.0 percent in travel payments.
Average spending per night in 2017 edged higher by 0.4 percent to 69 euros, while the average length of stay remained unchanged year-on-year at seven nights. The number of overnight stays increased by 10.4 percent to 213,516 thousand in 2017, from 193,419 thousand in 2016.
In terms of source markets, receipts from Germany rose by 20.0 percent to 2.5 million euros, by 11.8 percent to 994 million euros from France, and by 6.2 percent to 2.06 million euros for the UK.
Meanwhile, receipts from Russia dropped by 4.1 percent to 418 million euros, while those from the US rose by 11.8 percent to 814 million euros.
Travel for personal reasons accounted for the bulk of receipts in 2017, with a share of 94.3 percent in total expenditure, up from 93.9 percent in 2016: broken down leisure accounted for the largest share of total spending at 85.8 percent, visiting family for 4.9 percent, trips for health purposes grew by 55.4 percent to 55 million euros while business trips increased by 4.3 percent but declined in terms of travel receipts.
According to BoG data, more than 27 million inbound tourists, not counting cruise passengers, visited Greece in 2017, up by 9.7 percent compared to 24.799 million tourists in 2016.