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Domestic Tourism Down as Greeks Strapped for Cash

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Only one in two Greeks will be able to go on holiday this year, according to data released recently by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) and the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE), citing financial difficulties as the cause.

The report comes after a similar study released by Eurostat earlier this month which found that Greeks were among the Europeans who took the least number of trips in 2016 with nearly 75 percent of the total citing financial concerns as the reason.

According to ELSTAT data, domestic tourism has dropped by a massive 67 percent over the 2008-2016 crisis period, while those who do manage to go on holiday prefer to stay at friends’ homes, spend less or go on a trip for no longer than seven days.

More specifically, according to 2015-2016 data, the number of trips over four days decreased by 3.4 percent, but spending per trip grew by 6.8 percent. The SETE study goes on to note domestic flight arrivals edged up in 2017 compared to 2016.

Indicatively, according to ELSTAT data for the January-September 2017 period, 4,651,865 Greeks stayed at hotels and 131,354 at campgrounds, down compared to 4,760,169 and 140,611 respectively in the 2016 nine-month period. With regard to overnight stays, residents spent 11,063,182 nights at hotels in 2017 and 728,060 at campgrounds against 11,431,279 and 828,905 respectively in the same period in 2016.

Source: ELSTAT

Source: ELSTAT

In view of the decline in domestic tourism, luxury hotel facilities operate in the summer months with foreign travelers mostly from Europe and the US, who can also benefit from better discounts compared to Greek holidaymakers.

Analysts are looking to assess data on domestic travel for 2017, which has yet to be released.

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