We are not surprised by the increase in tourist revenues, the president of the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist and Travel Agencies (FedHATTA) Lyssandros Tsilidis said in statements to the Athens Macedonian News Agency following the figures pulished by the Bank of Greece.
However, Tsilidis said that the method used is not correct as it does not reflect the real situation.
Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in April 2017 showed a surplus of 247 million euros, compared with a surplus of 263 million euros in April 2016, the Bank of Greece said.
More specifically, travel receipts rose by 11.3% to 484 million euros in April 2017, from 435 million euros in the same month of 2016.
Travel payments also increased, by 38.1% (April 2017: 237 million euros, April 2016: 171 million euros). The rise in travel receipts was due to a 12.0% increase in inbound traveller flows, as average expenditure per trip fell slightly, by 0.4%. Net receipts from travel services offset 20.9% of the goods deficit and accounted for 40.0% of total net receipts from services.
In April 2017, as mentioned previously, travel receipts rose by 11.3% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 increased by 24.2% to 277 million euros, whereas receipts from outside the EU28 dropped by 3.6% (April 2017: 180 million euros, April 2016: 186 million euros).
The rise in receipts from within the EU28 was due to a 54.9% increase in receipts from euro area residents (April 2017: 207 million euros, April 2016: 134 million euros), as receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries fell by 22.0%.
The Greek tourism sector is moving full speed ahead with a growth rate of 7 percent, double the international average at 3-4 percent, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura told a conference on “Ways out of the Crisis: Trust, Investments, Exports” organized in Athens by the Panhellenic Exporters Association this week.
“We have achieved high performance in tourism, employment and investment,” Kountoura said adding that the government’s national tourism strategy has produced results despite the geopolitical challenges.
The minister noted that in 2015 a record 26 million people visited Greece and 28 million in 2016, adding that for this year, arrivals, overnight stays, revenue, investment and employment are all expected to increase.
Kountoura further underlined that via the ministry’s strategy the sector has managed to extend the tourism season, open up to new markets with particular attention to higher-income travelers, promote lesser known destinations, tap into thematic tourism, launch direct air connections with many destinations, create new jobs and attract new investments in tourism.
“Investing in tourism means investing in our future,” Kountoura concluded.
Meanwhile, University of Piraeus announced the establishment of the Department on Tourism Studies as of September, 2017 aiming to historically connect the past of the Greek economy and offer students the necessary education on tourism.
Students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills in order to have a succesful career in tourism and meet the market needs.
The Tourism Department of the University will carefully monitor the constantly changing trends and will continue to adjust its academic programme so that the graduates acquire the best possible education and knowledge, Professor Nikolaos Georgopoulos, President of the Department of Tourism Studies, said.