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Greek Tourism Study: Highest-spending Travelers Visited South Aegean Region in 2019

The South Aegean Region won over Greece’s highest spending travelers in 2019 marking a 12.7 percent increase against the previous year, according to a study released this week by SETE Intelligence (INSETE), the research department of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).

The region, which includes the popular islands of Paros, Mykonos and Rhodes, recorded an average 751 euros per visit, up by 12.7 percent against the previous year with the lowest spending recorded in the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region at 115 euros and down by 31.1 percent.

According to INSETE’s analysis of 2019 data per region: the year’s 31.3 million visitors to Greece (not including cruise passengers), made 36.6 million visits – up by 5.2 percent – and 232.5 million overnight stays – up by 2.4 percent – in the country’s 13 regions, spending a total of 17.7 billion euros, a 12.9 percent increase against the previous year.

In the lead in terms of visited destinations were the regions of the South Aegean accounting for 18.8 percent of all travelers and of Central Macedonia at 18.5 percent. The region of Attica, which includes Athens, followed with 16.2 percent, Crete (14.4 percent) and Eastern Macedonia and Thrace (10.5 percent). For the first time, the Ionian Islands Region, which includes favorite islands such as Corfu and Zakynthos didn’t make it into the top five accounting for 8.3 percent of all visits in 2019.

The Acropolis in Athens.

In terms of overnight stays, South Aegean Region destinations took the lead accounting for 22.9 percent of the total, followed by Crete with 18.6 percent, Central Macedonia (17.6 percent), Attica (14.6 percent) and the Ionian Islands (10.2 percent).

This said, 87.8 percent of all tourist-related revenue was recorded in the following five regions with the South Aegean Region accounting for 29.3 percent of total receipts, followed by the regions of Crete (20.4 percent), Attica (14.7 percent), Central Macedonia (12.7 percent), and the Ionian Islands (10. 8 percent).

Each traveler to Greece in 2019, visited on average 1.17 regions. Spending in 2019 per visit increased in most regions, despite the decrease in the average length of stay due to the rising rate per night.

Chania, Crete. Photo Source: Visit Greece

Other study key takeaways include:

spending per visit to the country’s 13 regions in 2019 came to an average of 482 euros, up by 7.4 percent compared to 2018 at 449 euros,

average spending per night in the 13 regions in 2019 came to an average of 76 euros, up by 10.3 percent against 2018 at 69 euros,

the highest spending per night in 2019 was recorded in the South Aegean Region at 97 euros, up by 12.6 percent and the lowest in the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace at 43 euros, down by 13.1 percent,

average length of stay per visit was at 6.3 nights, down by 2.7 percent with the maximum length of stay at 8.2 nights recorded on Crete (down by 2.4 percent) and the minimum length of stay at 2.7 nights the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace region down by 20.8 percent.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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