Greece had the highest travel receipts ever for the month of July this year. According to data from the Bank of Greece, receipts in July 2022 amounted to 3.723 billion euros, marginally increased by 0.56% from July 2019, a month that held the previous record with receipts of €3.702 billion.
However, arrivals in July this year were 7% lower than those in the same month of 2019, namely 5.275 million visitors compared to 5.673 million, as fewer foreign travelers, in other words, spent more money. The average expenditure per traveler increased from €652.5 in July 2019 to €705 this year – i.e. by 8%. Market sources note that this amount is justified not only by the higher spending of visitors but also by inflation.
During the first seven months – i.e. the period January-July 2022 – arrivals of foreign travelers increased by 191.4% from the same period in 2021, and receipts by 154.2%, representing 87.9% and 97.1% of their corresponding levels in 2019. This means that receipts are still 2.9% short of those of the first seven months of 2019, the last year before the pandemic and a record year for Greek tourism.
But the same sources state that August will be the month that will reverse the comparative figures with 2019, as it is estimated that both travelers and receipts increased significantly. A similar assessment exists for September. It should be recalled that in August 2019 travel receipts reached €4.1 billion, while in September of the same year they reached €2.88 billion.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, incoming tourism over the whole of 2022 is expected to be approximately 5% higher in terms of travelers and an additional 10% in terms of travel receipts compared to 2019.
The increased average expenditure per trip by foreign visitors and the significant rise in arrivals in the months after July reinforce estimates for an increase in travel receipts this year compared to 2019, by up to almost 10%. Tourism associations and government officials estimate that revenues from inbound tourism could reach €20 billion this year against €18.2 billion in 2019.
This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.