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Greece Sees Tourism Make Strong Comeback in First Nine Months of 2021

Acropolis Museum. Photo: GTP

Acropolis Museum. Archive photo: GTP

Travel receipts in the first nine months of the year increased by 139.3 percent generated by the number of inbound travelers, which rose by 89.0 percent, according to provisional data released on Monday by the Bank of Greece (BoG).

World travelers continued to give Greece their vote of confidence in September with travel receipts for the month up by 150.8 percent over last year and inbound traveler flows stronger by 124.4 percent.

Citing the data on September’s travel receipts and arrivals, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said: “We are investing in the extension of the tourist season and the results justify us… This means more revenue for the tourism industry, trade, market professionals”.

January-September 2021

More specifically, according to the central bank, in the January-September period, travel receipts increased by 139.3 percent year-on-year to 8,758 million euros driven by a 140.5 percent rise in receipts generated from EU residents to 5,813 million euros and a 124.0 percent increase in spending from non-EU residents to 2,773 million euros.

Leading the way were receipts made from the German market, up by 103.2 percent year-on-year to 1,781 million euros, from France up by 189.3 percent to 908 million euros, from the UK stronger by 85.7 percent to 1,185 million euros, from the US up 538.7 percent to 487 million euros, and from Russia stronger by 465.1 percent to 68 million euros.

In the same nine-month period, the number of incoming travelers increased by 89.0 percent to 11,619 thousand over 6,147 thousand in January-September 2020 with traveler flows through airports up by 100.0 percent and via road border-crossing points stronger by 57.4 percent.

September 2021

In September, travel receipts rose in rose by 150.8 percent year-on-year driven by spending from EU residents – up by 123.4 percent to 1,348 million euros and from non-EU travelers – stronger by 206.1 percent. In total September 2021 receipts came to 801 million euros over 262 million euros in the same month in 2020.

In the same month, the number of inbound travelers increased by 124.4 percent year-on-year to 2,995 thousan. Broken down traveler flows through airports grew by 104.4 percent over September 2020 via road border-crossing points by 450.3 percent.

Euro area travelers to Greece rose by 96.6 percent to 1,509 thousand, while non-euro area visitors increased by 193.4 percent to 525 thousand. 

Antiparos Soros beach

Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

The number of vacationers from Germany rose by 80.4 percent to 680 thousand, from France by 105.7 percent to 231 thousand, from the UK by 50.8 percent to 452 thousand, the US by 2,068.9 percent to 85 thousand, and from Russia by 1,474.4 percent to 13 thousand.

Meanwhile, according to the same data, the balance of travel services posted a surplus of 2,061 million euros in September 2021 and of 8,033 million euros in January-September 2021.

Additionally, in September 2021, Greece’s current account deficit decreased by 270 million euros yearonyear to 177 million euros. The surplus of services balance more than doubled, reflecting an improvement in the travel balance, the BoG said.

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