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Greek Commerce Federation complains about low revenues from tourism

Tourism, one of the locomotives of Greece’s economy shows impressive growth to in 2017-2018, however, the growth does not translate into increased revenues for the tourism industry, a study conducted by the Institute INEMY of the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Entrepreneurship ESEE has found.

For the period 2017-2018, the major touristic indexes such as the tourist balance, revenues, overnight stays, arrivals etc  show impressive growth and document the increased dynamics of the industry.

At the same time, because of the particularity of its nature, tourism has significant cross-sectoral interactions “transferring” benefits to other branches of the economic activity. The retail in particular, is one of the sectors that has historically developed an organic link to tourism.

However, in recent years, for a number of reasons (limited tourist income, exhaustion of the all inclusive model, etc.), this connection presents considerable lag that greatly blur the extremely positive course of tourism activity.

Of course, this lag is not horizontal as in some sub-branches of retail trade, such as supermarkets, fuel and furniture-electrical household appliances, there is significant (percentage) increase in turnover inevitably fueled by the growth of tourist activity and by the development of the short-term lease model (Airbnb)

The cost per visitor has different qualitative characteristics, with the highest cost per visitor being recorded by the Swiss with 843 euros and secondarily by the Russians with 802 euros.

The lowest average cost per traveler is recorded by the Italians at 560 euros, while Dutch spending is considerably increased compared to last year as it is increased by about 15%.

The highest average length of stay of 10 days is recorded by the Russians, while the length is recorded by both Germans and British and Belgians with 9 days.

Greece is the 7th country in the preferences of tourists from the USA this year, recording an increase of 74% in 2018.

“We expect this year’s data to be of particular interest in determining the percentage of tourist revenue that is being channeled to the local markets,” ESEE writes.

According to hoteliers, travel agencies collect a large proportion of the 14.6 billion euros of total touristic revenues.

On the other hand, during the best tourist season in the month July and August and thus during the summer sales,  the total turnover in retail trade barely exceeds 6 billion euros in the last three years, despite the sharp increase in tourist’s arrivals.

There is increased activity of more than 2%  in supermarkets and in food stores in general because of the “airbnb” increase to 4,000.

“In general, the “imported consumption” is not considered as satisfactory as the majority of tourists in Greece are of medium and low income, while the majority of tourists chooses Greece as a “cheap” tourist destination,” the ESEE notes among others.

The response came quickly by the Greek Tourism Confederation SETE and its Institute INSETE.

The Confederation dismisses one by one the ESEE claims with figures and it rejects the claim that Greece is a cheap tourist destination or that the tourists on All Inclusive scheme do not spend money outside the hotel.

Citing a global poll based on half a million people (insete February 2018,) the Confederation says that 60% of  foreign tourists in Greece are from the category of high income.


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One comment

  1. Here in Agios Nikolaos on Crete we see the same numbers of tourists in the town and on the beaches during the day as in previous years, but at night the town is all but dead. The tavernas and bars, the give the town the colour and atmosphere that the tourists come for, are struggling. The reason we strongly suspect, is the explosion in ‘fully inclusive’ hotels. In addition, those not fully inclusive organise bands and dancers most nights to try and keep their clients inside the hotel. We walk past one of the larger fully inclusive hotels at night when we walk our dog, their bar (that frankly looks like a school cafeteria) is full, presumably because the drinks are either cheaper or included. Fully inclusive has a place of course, we realise that some tourists need the certainty of paying for everything up front, but in the middle of a tourist town fully inclusive is a cancer that will, in time, destroy the reason that tourists come here. It’s short-sighted greed of the hotel owners in action.