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NBG Report: Greek Tourism Sector Making Healthy Post-Covid Recovery

The Greek tourism sector is making a healthy post-Covid-19 recovery fast approaching 2019 levels, said the National Bank of Greece (NBG) recently.

According to NBG’s new “Business Trends” report, two years after the pandemic, tourism-related revenues in Greece from January to August 2022 managed to level with 2019 driven in large part by increased spending.

Expenditure per arrival in the period under review was up by 11 percent over 2019, which the NBG attributes to inflation while international arrivals recouped 88 percent of 2019 levels. Tourist arrivals by road, meanwhile, were still lagging.

Hotel sales – mostly at 4- and 5-star units – the NBG said, were up by 17 percent over 2019 for the eight-month period thanks to improved quality of services and expanded range of products. As a result, Greece has managed so far to outdo several competitor Mediterranean markets in terms of post-Covid recovery.

More specifically, over the January-July period, Greece recouped 88 percent of 2019 arrivals, compared to 85 percent in the Mediterranean and 57 percent worldwide, managing to increase its share in the Mediterranean to 19 percent in the first seven months of the year against 17 percent in 2019.

Greece was also the only country in Europe to see an increase in the number of flights compared to 2019.

2022 source markets

Key source markets, according to the report, were Germany, France and the UK, arrivals from which were up by 10 percentage points compared to 2019. At the same time, arrivals from the US increased over the summer months thanks to the availability of direct air connections and to the “favorable” euro-dollar exchange rate, which bank analysts said sets the momentum for an upward trend in the future.

Looking ahead, NBG analysts expect 2022 to end on a positive note and that next year Greece will benefit from healthier international travel trends. The bank goes on to add that the energy crisis, the Russia-Ukraine war as well as inflationary pressures remain to be risks.

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