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BoG: Greece Tourism Gained Momentum in 2021 – Final Data

Greece’s tourism sector managed to cover lost ground and regain momentum in 2021 achieving a 143.2 percent rise in travel receipts for the year over 2020, driven by a 105.9 percent increase in the number of international arrivals and an 11.2 euro rise in average spending per overnight stay, the Bank of Greece reports.

More specifically, according to final data for 2021 released this week by Greece’s central bank, expenditure per overnight stay rose by 16.7 percent to 78.5 euros compared to 67.3 euros in 2020.

Average spending per trip also rose by 18.1 percent in 2021 to 688.9 euros compared to 583.2 euros in 2020. Average length of stay was almost the same as in 2020 at 8.8 nights while total overnight stays increased by 108.4 percent to 133,734.9 thousand in 2021 from 64,172.5 thousand in 2020.

Travel receipts

In pre-pandemic 2019, travel receipts came to 18.17 billion euros, up by 13 percent compared to 2018 again driven by an increase in average expenditure per trip by 48 euros.

Travel receipts in 2021 totaled 10,502.7 million euros compared with 2020 driven by a 137.8 rise in receipts from EU residents to 6,797.7 million euros and accounted for 64.7 percent of total travel receipts, and by a 143.2 percent rise in receipts from non-EU travelers to 3,530.8 million euros.

Travel receipts by trip purpose

Trips for personal reasons accounted for the bulk of total travel receipts in 2021, with a share of 95.7 percent up from 92.7 percent in 2020. International travelers spent money on leisure, which accounted for 87.6 percent –  the largest share of total receipts in 2021 – over 80.2 percent in 2020, with the corresponding receipts increasing by 165.8 percent year-on-year to 9,201.5 million euros.

Trips for the purpose of visiting family held a share of 5.8 percent in total receipts, trips for health purposes rose by 31.2 percent and business trips also increased by 42.6 percent.

Other key takeaways of the BoG report on tourism for 2021

– the balance of travel services posted a surplus of 9,390.2 million euros in 2021

– total receipts from cruise passengers rose by 1,930.4 percent –  breaking down cruise receipts by port the data shows that the port of Piraeus ranks first with a share of 38.9 percent in total cruise receipts

– the South Aegean Region accounted for the largest share of total receipts, visits and overnight stays in 2021

– the number of inbound travelers in 2021 rose by 105.9 percent to 15,246.1 thousand from 7,405.8 thousand in 2020: traveler flows through airports were up by 109.5 percent and through road border-crossing points by 69.6 percent

travelers from the EU accounted for 66.4 percent of the total number of travelers, while those from outside the EU accounted for 30.1 percent

– key source markets in 2021 were Germany, up by 96.6 percent, France up by 150.5 percent, the UK up by 48.9 percent, the US by 271.6 percent, and Russia up by 365.3 percent

– in 2021, the number of overnight stays in Greece totaled 133,734.9 thousand, up by 108.4 percent from 64,172.5 thousand in 2020

five regions in Greece accounted for 90.0 percent of total travel receipts: the Southern Aegean with 3,121.3 million euros, followed by Crete, Attica, the Ionian Islands and Central Macedonia.

– the five most visited regions in Greece, accounting for 86.0 percent of total visits, were: the Southern Aegean, Crete, Central Macedonia, Attica and the Ionian Islands.

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