With arrivals obviously affected by the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on travel, Greece’s tourism revenue dropped by 77 percent during the first ten months of the year compared to the same period in 2019.
According to provisional data released by the Bank of Greece on Tuesday, travel receipts during January to October were down to only some 4 billion euros compared to some 13.5 billion euros in the corresponding period of 2019.
The drop in travel receipts stemmed from a 1.4 percent fall in average expenditure per trip and a 76.1 percent decrease in inbound traveller flows to some 7.1 million (January-October 2019: 29.7 million).
Specifically, during the first ten months of the year, visitor flows through airports declined by 72.8 percent and arrivals through road border-crossing points were down by 83.4 percent.
The Bank of Greece data showed that in the period under review, visitors from within the EU27 dropped by 73.2 percent year-on-year to some 4.7 million, while visitors from outside the EU27 decreased by 80.4 percent to some 2.3 million. The number of visitors from within the euro area fell by 68.5 percent, while visitors from non-euro area EU27 countries dropped by 80.3 percent.
The data showed that the number of visitors from Germany fell by 61.8 percent to some 1.4 million, while visitors from France decreased by 69.4 percent to 463 thousand. Turning to non-EU27 countries, the number of visitors from the United Kingdom fell by 70 percent to about 1 million, while visitors from the United States dropped by 91 percent to 100 thousand and visitors from Russia decreased by 95.6 percent to 24 thousand.
In October alone, travel receipts in Greece declined by 64 percent year-on-year and the number of inbound visitors fell by 65.6 percent to 955 thousand. Compared to 2019, visitor flows through airports declined by 59.3 percent and visitor flows through road border-crossing points fell by 91.4 percent.
Slow recovery expected for tourism
According to a recent survey carried out by MRB Hellas, Greek tourism professionals are expecting the sector to recover slowly in the post-Covid-19 era with the majority seeing their businesses fully recovering in 2023 and reaching the levels of 2019.
Last year was considered another record year for Greek tourism with travel receipts reaching 18.17 billion euros, up by 13 percent compared with 2018. The number of inbound visitors in Greece in 2019 rose by 2.8 percent to some 34 million (including cruise passengers), from 33 million a year earlier.