Travel re­ceipts up 7.1 pct this year

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

For­eign hol­i­day­mak­ers spent a to­tal of 10.4 bil­lion eu­ros in Greece in the first eight months of the year, with al­most a third of that com­ing in Au­gust, ac­cord­ing to Bank of Greece fig­ures re­leased yes­ter­day.

On a yearly ba­sis travel re­ceipts posted a 7.1 per­cent in­crease in the year to end-Au­gust, with Bri­tons out­spend­ing their Ger­man coun­ter­parts for the first time in years. Bri­tish tourists parted with 1.48 bil­lion eu­ros, 33.5 per­cent more than in the Jan­uaryAu­gust 2014 pe­riod. The same per­cent­age of growth was recorded by US vis­i­tors, who spent a to­tal of 618.8 mil­lion eu­ros.

Ger­man tourists parted with 10.2 per­cent more, to reach 1.43 bil­lion eu­ros, while the French raised their spend­ing 4 per­cent to 898.3 mil­lion eu­ros. The only ma­jor mar­ket to post a de­cline was that of Rus­sia, as tourism rev­enues from Rus­sians fell 68 per­cent to 281.9 mil­lion eu­ros.

Ar­rivals in the Jan­uary-Au­gust 2015 pe­riod ex­panded 10.6 per­cent to come to al­most 17 mil­lion. There was a 35.7 per­cent yearly rise in US vis­i­tors, a 24.9 per­cent rise in vis­its from the UK, 22.5 per­cent from Ger­many and 4.4 per­cent from France, while 61.6 per­cent fewer Rus­sian hol­i­day­mak­ers came to Greece.

In Au­gust alone ar­rivals in­creased 2.8 per­cent year-on-year, com­ing to al­most 5 mil­lion, but tourism tak­ings de­clined 7.3 per- cent from Au­gust 2014 due to the in­tro­duc­tions of cap­i­tal con­trols.

Ac­cord­ing to es­ti­mates by the Tourism Min­istry and the As­so­ci­a­tion of Hel­lenic Tourism En­ter­prises (SETE), tourists this year will top 26 mil­lion and travel tak­ings will come to around 14.5 bil­lion eu­ros.

The travel bal­ance in the first eight months of the year showed a sur­plus of 9.1 bil­lion eu­ros, or 8.5 per­cent more than a year ear­lier. This is mainly thanks to the 690-mil­lion-euro in­crease in travel rev­enues and the de­cline in the travel ex­pen­di­ture of Greeks abroad by 20 mil­lion eu­ros. Av­er­age spend­ing per trip con­tracted by 3 per­cent to 600 eu­ros, al­though Au­gust vis­i­tors spent 3 per­cent more than last year.

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