By Ilias Bellos
Last year saw a double-digit increase in tourism revenues and a marginal rise in the average expenditure of visitors per night spent in Greece, according to the definitive figures released by the country’s central bank.
The Bank of Greece revealed that travel receipts amounted to 14.63 billion euros in 2017, up 10.8 percent from 2016, while spending per night per visitor improved 0.4 percent to 69 euros. The total number of nights spent in Greece by visitors rose 10.4 percent to 213.51 million but the average stay remained at seven nights, almost the same as in 2016.
The increased takings took the travel surplus to 12.72 billion euros, up 13.6 percent from the previous year’s 11.2 billion. That is also attributed to the 5 percent or 101-million-euro reduction in spending by Greek travelers abroad.
Incoming tourism traffic rose 7.4 percent year-on-year to 30.16 million visitors, from 28.07 million in 2017. Air travelers increased by a notable 9.9 percent.
Visitors from Germany, who numbered 3.7 million, spent 20 percent more last year, while the 3 million Britons who visited Greece in 2017 forked out an additional 6.2 percent. US visitors, amounting to 865,000, spent 11.8 percent more than in 2016.