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Greece’s Tourism Receipts in May Suffer Covid-19 Blow

Greek tourism revenue suffered a massive blow in May 2020 – the first month of the tourism season – due to the outbreak of Covid-19 with travel receipts plummeting by 99.2 percent to 13 million euros from 1.56 billion euros in May last year, according to tentative data released by the Bank of Greece (BoG) on Tuesday.

In the first five months of 2020, Greek travel receipts dropped by 78.5 percent to 614 million euros, with travel payments down by 65.1 percent to 399 million euros.

The Covid-19 health crisis and the lockdown measures that followed led to a standstill in travel impacting the sector like no other.

Photo source: AIA / © Thomas Gerasopoulos

Photo source: AIA / © Thomas Gerasopoulos

Central bank analysts attribute the May decline to a 97.7 percent drop in inbound traveler flows and a 62.9 percent decrease in average spending per trip.

Meanwhile, travel payments also decreased by 98.2 percent in May 2020 to 4 million euros from 228 million euros in May 2019.

The BoG cites a 38.7 percent decline in average expenditure per trip and a 63.8 percent decrease in inbound traveler flows for the five-month drop in travel receipts.

The Covid-19 impact is also clearly reflected in the number of inbound visitors in May, which dropped by 97.7 percent year-on-year to 56 thousand.

Specifically, visitor flows through airports came to a standstill, with incoming travelers through road border-crossing points down by 87.9 percent.

Central bank analysts attribute the overall decrease to lower EU and non-EU visitor flows – down by 98.2 percent and 96.9 percent, respectively.

At a closer look, the number of EU travelers fell by 99.7 percent to 4 thousand, while non-euro area visitors fell by 93.5 percent to 22 thousand in 2020 against 340 thousand in 2019.

In the January-May period, the number of inbound visitors fell by 63.8 percent to 1,921 thousand against 5,305 thousand in the same period in 2019, down by 72.9 percent through airports and by 40.5 percent via road border-crossing points.

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