In 2016, Tourism Was Up, Revenue Was Down

Balos, Chania. Crete

Greek tourism brought €11.21 billion into the Greek economy, which was down 7.3% from 2015's €12.09 billion, reports the bank of Greece, according to GTP (Greek Travel Pages). Travel receipts were down 6.4%, says the bank.

Even thought the revenue was down, there was a net increase of 5.1% in tourists. This dichotomy can be explained by the fact that tourists spent less on their vacations per capita. Residents of the Euro zone, spent less, while non-Euro zone Europeans spent more. Receipts from a sampling of Euro zone countries were as follows: Germans spent 4.1% less here, The French spent 25 % less, and the British spent 2.9% less.

Russians, however, spent 3.4% more. Elsewhere, US citizens saw a significant drop in their spending as well, to the tune of 22.8%, even though there was a 3.8% increase in American tourists.

In total, visits by the EU28 nations rose by 15%, while those from the rest of the world fell by 12.1%. The biggest increase was from the non-euro EU28 countries of Eastern Europe, which saw a 22.1% increase of visitors. Leading those was Russian visitors, which rose by 16.1%.

One explanation for this that GTP did not mention is the year-to-year fall in hotel rates, which was considerable. This makes Greece more attractive as a relatively cheap destination. Another factor could be that people still want to vacation in Greece, but are trying to economize while they are here.