Travel receipts in Greece were down in 2016 compared with the previous year, in spite of an increase in the number of inbound tourists arriving in the country, according to provisional data released by the Bank of Greece (BoG) on Monday for the eight-month period from January to August 2016.
The balance of travel services showed a surplus of 2.923 billion euros in August 2016, down 10.6% from a surplus of 3.271 billion in August 2015. More specifically, travel receipts in August 2016 fell to 3.159 billion euros (down 9.2% from 3.478 billion euros in August 2015), whereas travel payments increased by 14.0% (August 2016: 236 million euros, August 2015: 207 million euros). The fall in travel receipts resulted from an 11.6% decrease in average expenditure per trip, as arrivals rose by 1.8%. Net receipts from travel services accounted for 87.8% of total net receipts from services and more than offset (249.0%) the goods deficit.
In January-August 2016, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of 8.434 billion euros, down 8.8% from a surplus of 9.251 billion euros in the same period of 2015. This development was driven by both a decrease in travel receipts (down 753 million euros or 7.1%) and an increase in travel payments (up 64 million euros or 4.7%). The fall in travel receipts resulted from a 9.0% decline in average expenditure per trip, as arrivals rose by 1.3%. Net receipts from travel services offset 78.6% of the goods deficit and accounted for 77.7% of total net receipts from services.
In August 2016, as mentioned previously, travel receipts declined by 9.2% year-on-year. Looking at the breakdown by visitor’s country of origin, receipts from residents of the EU28 fell by 2.2% and those from outside the EU28 by 31.1%. The decrease in receipts from within the EU28 was mainly due to a drop of 128 million euros or 7.5% in receipts from euro area residents, as receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries rose by 9.7%. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany rose by 4.3% to 526 million euros and those from France fell by 31.9% to 271 million euros. Receipts from the United Kingdom increased slightly by 0.5% to 454 million euros. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia dropped by 4.3% to 95 million euros and those from the United States fell by 49.6% to 102 million euros.
Travel receipts in January-August 2016 totalled 9.853 million euros, falling by 7.1%, relative to the same period of 2015. This development is attributed to lower receipts from both within the EU28 (down 4.4%) and outside the EU28 (down 15.4%). In particular, receipts from euro area residents fell by 6.4% and those from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries by 1.0%. Specifically, receipts from Germany dropped by 8.4% and those from France by 24.3%. Receipts from the United Kingdom also decreased, by 13.2%. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia fell by 2.1% and those from the United States by 24.0%.
The number of inbound visitors stood at 5,084,000 in August 2016, having increased by 1.8% year-on-year. Specifically, arrivals by air increased by 4.4%, while those by road fell by 8.0%. This development reflected a 20.8% increase in arrivals from within the EU28, as arrivals from outside the EU28 fell by 29.6%.
The number of inbound visitors in January-August 2016 increased by 1.3% to 17,195,000, from 16,968,000 a year earlier. Specifically, arrivals by air increased by 6.1%, while those by road fell by 9.5%. In the period under review, arrivals from within the EU28 increased by 11.2% year-on-year, whereas those from outside the EU28 fell by 15.3%. Arrivals from the euro area rose by 8.4% and those from the non-euro area EU28 countries by 14.4%.