Travel receipts for the first nine months of 2018 increased by 8.4 percent to 14,113 million euros compared to the same period in 2017, with trips for personal reasons accounting for 95.4 percent of total revenues, the Bank of Greece’s final data on the January-September 2018 period reveals.
The increase in tourism-related revenue was driven by an 11.4 percent rise in receipts from EU residents to 9,844 million euros, accounting for 69.7 percent of total travel receipts, and by a 2.4 percent increase by non-EU travelers to 3,925 million euros.
In terms of spending, German travelers increased receipts by 20.3 percent to 2,587 million euros as did US travelers, with receipts up by 18.9 percent to 823 million euros, but dropped from France by 9.7 percent to 842 million euros, from the UK down by 7.2 percent to 1,744 million euros, and from Russia by 20.7 percent to 307 million euros.
Under the travel for personal reasons category, leisure accounted for the largest share of total expenditure in the January-September 2018 period at 86.9 percent against 87.4 percent a year earlier with relevant receipts increasing by 7.8 percent to 12,266 million euros.
Meanwhile, spending for health tourism decreased by 12.3 percent in the nine months last year to 36 million euros.
The data also showed that the average expenditure per trip during the first nine months of 2018 fell by 4 euros or 0.8 percent (January-September 2018: 498 euros, January-September 2017: 503 euros)
The Bank of Greece’s final data also revealed that the balance of travel services in January-September 2018 posted a surplus of 12,507 million euros, up by 8.1 percent from a surplus of 11,571 million euros in the same period a year before.
Moreover, overnight stays came to 202,974 thousand, up by 7.8 percent in the given period from 188,272 thousand in 2017.
From January to September 2018, 2,562 cruise ships visited Greece compared to 2,685 in the nine-month period in 2017 carrying 3,781 thousand cruise passengers compared to 3,761 thousand in 2017. Total receipts from cruise passengers in January-September 2018 fell by 2.9 percent year-on-year to 384 million euros.
According to the central bank, five regions accounted for 88.2 percent of total receipts for the nine-month period: the South Aegean (3,994 million euros), Crete (2,805 million euros), Central Macedonia (2,017 million euros), Attica (1,725 million euros) and the Ionian Islands (1,602 million euros).