Cruise travel to Greek destinations picked up pace in the first six months of the year driving a 10.1 percent increase in total receipts, according to Bank of Greece data released this month.
More specifically, based on data collected at 16 ports which account for 84.6 percent of all cruise ship arrivals, 1,278 cruise liners visited Greece in the January-June 2019 period, up from 1,118 in 2018.
The same period saw 1,734 thousand cruise passenger visits against 1,63 thousand in 2018, who generated 183 million euros in travel receipts, up by 10.1 percent year-on-year.
According to the central bank’s Cruise Survey, 88.5 percent of all cruise passengers were transit visitors, with an average of 2.2 stopovers at Greek ports of call, up from 1.5 stopovers in the same period last year.
Leading the way in terms of receipts was the port of Piraeus accounting for a 45.4 percent share in total cruise receipts, followed by the port of Corfu with 12.2 percent, and the Cretan port of Heraklion with 9.3 percent.
Greece’s top seven cruise ship ports accounted for 89.4 percent of total cruise receipts and 81.4 percent of total cruise passenger visits.
Meanwhile, total overnight stays ashore increased year-on-year by 3.8 percent to 1,865 thousand, driving up cruise receipts.
Overall, based on final central bank data, the balance of travel services in January-June 2019 posted a surplus of 4,077 million euros, up by 10.4 percent against 2018.
Travel receipts increased by 13.3 percent to 5,414 million euros, while travel spending per overnight stay rose by 10.3 percent to 76 euros against 69 euros in 2018.
The number of overnight stays in Greece totalled 69,918 thousand in the same period.
Meanwhile, five regions accounted for the bulk (87.8%) of total receipts: the South Aegean (1,347 million euros), Attica, (1,089 million euros), Crete (1,078 million euros), Central Macedonia (641 million euros) and the Ionian Islands (452 million euros).
Attica, the Southern Aegean, Central Macedonia, Crete and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace accounted for 80.1 percent of total visits to Greece.