Tourism-related revenues in 2021 recovered 58.6 percent of pre-Covid-19 levels amounting to 10.6 billion euros, the Bank of Greece (BoG) said this week.
More specifically, according to the country’s central bank, the rise in the services surplus is almost “exclusively attributable to an improvement in the travel services balance”.
Indicatively, non-resident arrivals grew by 99.4 percent generating 10.6 billion euros in receipts up by 146.7 percent over 2020, or 46.9 percent and 58.6 percent of the respective levels in pre-pandemic 2019. Net transport receipts dropped by 6.0 percent.
Overall in 2021, the current account deficit decreased by 356.6 million euros year‑on‑year to 10.6 billion euros.
In December 2021, non-resident arrivals soared by a massive 294 percent driving tourism revenue up by 406.9 percent and recovering 60 percent (receipts) and 55 percent (arrivals) of respective levels in the same month in 2019.
The surplus of the transport balance grew mainly on the back of an improvement in the surplus of the sea transport balance.
According to BoG data, the current account deficit in December 2021, grew by 1.1 billion euros year‑on‑year to 1.7 billion euros.
Outlook positive, says tourism minister
Commenting on the news, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said the outlook for the year ahead was “very good”.
“For 2021, tourism revenues were forecast at 5-6 billion euros. Finally, according to the Bank of Greece, revenues came to 10.4 billion euros for 2021 and the outlook for 2022 is very good,” he said, adding that takings from tourism support Greek families which operate small and medium-sized businesses.
“This is a huge industry. It is the locomotive of the Greek economy, contributing 25 percent to the country’s GDP,” he said.