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Changing Trends Alter Tourism Outcomes for Greece

The changing trends in source markets, as well as duration of stay appear to have changed the sector’s outcomes, according to a new study released by INSETE,  the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) intelligence body.

INSETE logoMore specifically, SETE analysts attribute reduced average spending per traveler to a 65 percent decline in duration of stay and a 35 percent increase in the number of arrivals from Eastern European countries.

Indicatively, the changing visitor profile is a result of faster new market growth – up by 137 percent in 2012 to 7.6 million in 2018 – compared to traditional source market growth – up by 82 percent from 6.3 million in 2012 to 11.5 million in 2018.

At the same time, average daily spending is steady. According to the report, the 30 percent reduction in average spending in the 2005-2018 period down to 519.6 euros from 745.7 euros “should not be considered a sign of a declining tourist product”.

To the contrary, SETE analysts believe the data provides accurate insight into ways to effectively target the promotion of the tourist product.

Crete, Kourna Lake. Photo Source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

Photo Source: Visit Greece / Y. Skoulas

“The strategic goal of tourism now is maturity. Pursuing records was not and is not an end in itself for tourism professionals. Effective destination management with investments and change of attitudes will determine the future performance of the sector,” said SETE President Yiannis Retsos on his twitter account referring to the report.

SETE President Yiannis Retsos

Compared to rival market Spain, the difference between average daily spending came to 53.7 euros in 2018, attributed to different visitor profiles -travelers from Balkan and Eastern European markets in Spain is proportionally lower than in Greece.

At the same time, air fares from traditional European source markets to Spain are much lower than to Greece (due to taxation), giving Spain an added advantage. As a result, the report says, it appears that the total cost for travel to Greece for an average European holidaymaker is much higher.

Commenting on the findings, INSETE head Ilias Kikilias said that “aiming for higher average spending either by increasing average daily expenditure or through the increase in average duration of stay involves the creation of a more complex product with higher quality features that enhance the overall visitor experience and includes all parts of the value chain which make up the tourist product”.

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