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Greece Tourist Traffic Still Strong in September but Spending Down

Athens, Greece. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y.Skoulas

Athens, Greece. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y.Skoulas

Inbound tourist traffic to Greece rose by 4.9 percent in September to 4,869,000 with flows through airports stronger by 11.5 percent but travel receipts are still slow, up by a minor 0.3 percent to 2,441 million euros from 2,434 million euros in September 2017, the Bank of Greece said this week.

According to tentative data released by Greece’s central bank, travel-related revenue grew due to an increase in inbound traveler flows but average spending per trip fell by 22 euros, or down by 4.3 percent.

More specifically, EU travelers spent more, up by 2.9 percent to 1,725 million euros, with non-EU nationals putting a damper on expenses, which were down by 5.7 percent to 650 million euros compared to 689 million euros in the same month last year.

In terms of markets, the highest spenders were from Germany, up by 8.1 percent to 494 million euros.

On the downside, receipts from France dropped by 15.4 percent to 113 million euros, from the UK by 17.4 percent to 301 million euros and from the US by 16.0 percent to 136 million euros.

January-September 2018

In the first nine months of the year, travel receipts increased by 9.1 percent to 14,205 million euros against the same period in 2017, driven primarily by a 12.2 percent rise in receipts from EU residents at 9,900 million euros and a 2.7 percent increase in receipts from non-EU nationals to 3,951 million euros.

Athens, Greece. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y.Skoulas

Athens, Greece. Photo source: Visit Greece / Y.Skoulas

Travel-related revenue from euro area residents grew by 12.3 percent year-on-year in the January-September 2018 period to 6,270 million euros, while receipts from residents outside the EU rose by 12.0 percent to 3,629 million euros.

In the same nine-month period, spending by German travelers rose by 16.9 percent to 2,513 million euros, but dropped from France by 9.3 percent to 845 million euros as it did for the UK down by 6.8 percent to 1,750 million euros.

In terms of traveler flows over the January-September 2018 period, the number of inbound visitors rose by 10.3 percent to 25,957,000 against 23,535,000 in 2017 with traffic through airports up by 13.6 percent and via road border-crossing points by 5.0 percent.

The number of visiting EU residents grew by 16.1 percent year-on-year to 18,631,000, while those from outside the Union dropped by 2.2 percent to 7,326,000.

Again, in the lead is Germany accounting for a 25.1 percent rise in the number of travelers to 3,647,000, followed by France up by 2.9 percent to 1,327,000.

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