Tourism tak­ings to post de­crease

Lo­cal in­dus­try suf­fers as vis­i­tors spend less in Greece, while ri­val des­ti­na­tions see their num­bers grow

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

Like Turkey, Greece has seen its tourism tak­ings de­cline this year, in con­trast to Cyprus, Spain and Bul­garia, which have re­ported growth in tourism rev­enues, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est of­fi­cial data that Kathimerini has com­piled. The year is likely to end with a loss of half a bil­lion euros for the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try and the econ­omy in gen­eral.

In Greece there was a 7.1 per­cent drop in tourism rev­enues in the first eight months of the year com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015, tak­ing the to­tal to 9.85 bil­lion euros, ac­cord­ing to Bank of Greece fig­ures. Ar­rivals ex­panded 1.3 per­cent to reach 17.2 mil­lion in the Jan­uary-Au­gust pe­riod.

Rev­enues from French tourists dropped 24.3 per­cent, from US vis­i­tors 24 per­cent, from the Ger­man mar­ket by 8.4 per­cent and from Rus­sia 2.1 per­cent. In Au­gust alone tourism tak­ings slumped 9.2 per­cent year-on-year, data showed.

Ac­cord­ing to the pres­i­dent of the Greek Tourism Con­fed­er­a­tion (SETE), An­dreas An­dreadis, the de­cline in rev­enues from tourism will ex­ceed 500 mil­lion euros for the whole of the year com­pared to 2015.

Aver­age spend­ing per trip is much lower in Greece than at ri­val des­ti­na­tions, and goes a long way to­ward ex­plain­ing the drop in rev­enues re­ported so far this year: In Au­gust aver­age ex­pen­di­ture per visit to Greece amounted to 595.80 euros, against 873.20 euros in Cyprus and 1,026 euros in Spain.

On the other hand, Cyprus has been re­port­ing some im­pres­sive tourism fig­ures this year: Rev­enues in the year’s first eight months ex­panded 13.6 per­cent to 1.62 bil­lion euros, with Au­gust rev­enues up 9.4 per­cent yearon-year. In the year to end-Septem­ber for­eign tourism ar­rivals in­creased 18.8 per­cent from last year to ex­ceed 582.45 1.1045 2.6 mil­lion, as Russian vis­i­tors soared 44.5 per­cent to 670,252.

In Turkey tourism rev­enues fell 38.3 per­cent in the Jan­uary-Septem­ber pe­riod, while ar­rivals shrank 32 per­cent to 20.25 mil­lion. Bul­garia is wit­ness­ing a year of growth as its rev­enues rose 15.7 per­cent in the Jan­uary-July pe­riod to 1.75 bil­lion euros. As for Spain, it is head­ing for a record year, with rev­enues ris­ing to 53.8 bil­lion by end-Septem­ber, up 6.3 per­cent on last year.

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