Greek tourism-related revenue grew in the first quarter of the year to 554 million euros, marking a 13.2 percent increase compared to 2017, according to data released by the Bank of Greece (BoG) on Monday.
Central bank analysts attribute the result to a 22.0 percent rise in receipts from EU residents, which came to 326 million euros, or 58.8 percent of total receipts, and by a 3.5 percent increase, or 221 million euros in receipts, from residents outside the EU.
At the same time, Q1 inbound tourism grew by 12.4 percent to 1,840,000 travelers against 1,637,000 in the same period in 2017. More specifically, visitor flows through airports grew by 8.9 percent and by 18.6 percent through road border crossings.
Travelers from the EU accounted for 58.2 percent of the total, while non-EU residents for 39.4 percent.
With regard to EU nationals, the number of German travelers increased by 26.9 percent to 196,000 in the first three months of the year, the French by 35.6 percent to 39,000 and the Britons by 11.0 percent to 101,000.
On the downside, and in terms of non-EU residents, the number of visitors from Russia dwindled by 36.6 percent to 16,000, as did those from the US by 13.0 percent to 71,000.
Overnight stays in the same period increased by 10.7 percent to 10,026,000 from 9,057,000 with the figure stronger by 43.6 percent for German residents, 71.0 percent for the French and 6.8 percent for the Britons. The number of overnight stays by Russian travelers dropped by 16.6 percent, as did the figure for US residents, down by 13.1 percent.
The balance of travel services for the three-month period posted a surplus of 127 million euros, up by 47.3 percent from a surplus of 86 million euros in January-March 2017, attributed to the increase in travel receipts, which outweighed a rise in payments.
According to BoG data for the January-March 2018 collected from 16 Greek ports (which accounts from 87.8 percent of all cruise ship arrivals), the number of cruise ship arrivals dropped to 41 compared to 92 in the same period in 2017 and to 67,000 cruise passenger visits against 82,000 in 2017 with 85.7 percent being transit visitors.