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Greece Welcomes Rise in Travel Receipts in 2019

Greece saw travel receipts increase by 12.8 percent in 2019 to 18.15 billion euros against 16.08 billion in 2018 generated in large part by a 4.1 percent increase in the number of inbound travelers, according to tentative data released on Thursday by the country’s central bank.

More specifically according to Bank of Greece (BoG) figures, the upward trend was driven by an 11.5 percent rise in receipts from EU nationals to 12.27 billion euros and by a 16.3 percent rise from non-EU travelers to 5.4 billion euros.

Broken down, 2019 receipts from euro area residents increased by 8.7 percent to 7.72 billion euros, while those from non-euro area countries grew by 16.7 percent to 4.55 billion euros.

In the positive were receipts from France up by 14.5 percent to 1.09 billion euros, the UK by 31.9 percent to 2.55 billion euros, the US by 14.2 percent to 1.18 billion euros, and Russia by 27.3 percent to 434 million euros.

On the downside, receipts form one of Greece’s major source markets, Germany, edged down by 0.2 percent to 2.95 billion euros.

In 2019, the number of inbound visitors rose by 4.1 percent to some 31.3 billion, from 30.1 billion in 2018.

Acropolis Museum in Athens. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

In December 2019, travel receipts rose by 6.1 percent year-on-year to 289 million euros from 272 million euros in the same month a year earlier. BoG analysts attribute the increase to a 5.4 percent year-on-year rise in the number of inbound travelers and to stronger average spending per trip – up by 0.7 percent.

Overall, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of 43 million euros in December 2019, compared to a surplus of 23 million euros in the same month in 2018.

Moreover, the number of inbound visitors in December 2019 stood at 692 thousand, compared with 657 thousand in December 2018.

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