Loss of Russian Tourists in 2022 Keeps Greece’s Tourism Revenues Below 2019
The Russia-Ukraine war which led to the loss of the Russian market in addition to fewer cruise passenger arrivals kept Greek tourism revenues below pre-Covid 2019 levels in 2022, said INSETE, the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) research body.
According to INSETE’s recent bulletin, tourism-related revenues were down by 547.5 million euros over 2019 due to a decline in Russian arrivals and cruise travelers.
Overall, travel receipts were down by 3 percent over 2019 to 17.6 billion euros compared to 18.2 billion euros in 2019.
Average spending per person in 2022 increased by 9.7 percent over 2019 going from 564 euros to 619 euros. INSETE analysts attribute the increase to a higher number of international arrivals. Broken down: EU travelers generated 8.02 billion euros up by 3.7 percent against 2019; non-EU visitors generated 1.96 billion euros marking a 2 percent rise, while the number of travelers from the US increased by 0.6 percent to 1.19 billion euros and from the UK to 3.12 billion euros – a 21.8 percent rise.
Inbound travel flows in 2022 were down by 11.2 percent to 27.8 million arrivals from 31.3 million in 2019.
High in demand in 2022 were sea and sun destinations such as Crete which marked a 5.8 percent increase in arrivals, the Dodecanese (+7 percent), the Ionian (+12,7 percent) and the Cyclades islands (+33 percent).
A total of 4,775 cruise ship arrivals were recorded in 2022 compared to 3,979 in 2019 up by 20 percent.
Travelers to Greece last year were satisfied with the quality of Greek hotel services which scored 87 percent on the GRI index same as in 2019 (87.1 percent).
Lastly, in the third quarter of 2022, the peak of the tourist season, a total of 445,000 people were employed in hospitality and F&B surpassing 2019 figures (429,000).
Overall figures for the number of tourists can be misleading. What is more important is what the tourists from different countries each spend on average, and in that respect, it is certain that the loss of visitors from the Russian Federation in 2022 was more than outweighed by additional wealthier tourists from countries such as the UK, Germany, France the USA and others. There may also be significant distortions in the accuracy of reporting from traditional hotels compared to that from Short Term Rentals such as Airbnb.
The resorts are better for this as the Russian tourist did nothing to enhance the resorts other nationalities can now enjoy holidays without them.
In Greece now for a month’s stay but arriving in Athens Passport Control was an unpleasant experience. It took 45 minutes to pass through with EU Passports and there were approx 100 people behind us. There appears to be a lack of technology or else the the police are not very efficient.