Evolution of the travel services balance: 2021

04/14/2022 – Press releases

-The balance of travel services generated a surplus of €9,390.2 million in 2021.
-Travel Receipts increased by 143.2%.
– Flow of incoming travelers increased by 105.9%.
-Nights shows an increase of 108.4%.
-Total revenue from cruise passengers increased by 1,930.4%.
-The southern region of the Aegean Sea accounted for the largest share of total revenue, visits and overnight stays in 2021.

Travel services balance

On final data, the balance of travel services in 2021 shows a surplus of €9,390.2 million, up 166.3% compared to a surplus of €3,525.9 million in 2020. This change is explained by stronger growth in travel receipts (+€6,183.9 million). million euros, or 143.2%) than in travel payments (up by 319.7 million euros, or 40.3% – Chart 1). The increase in travel receipts in 2021 compared to 2020 is driven by a 105.9% increase in the number of incoming non-resident travelers, as well as an increase in average expenditure per night of €11.2 or €16.7 % (2021: €78.5, 2020: €67.3 – Table 1).

More specifically, the average spend per trip increased by 18.1% (2021: €688.9, 2020: €583.2), while the average length of stay was 8.8 nights, almost unchanged compared to 2020. Total overnight stays (Table 5) increased by 108.4% to 133,734.9 thousand in 2021, compared to 64,172.5 thousand in 2020.

Travel receipts

Travel receipts in 2021 amounted to €10,502.7 million, up 143.2% compared to 2020. This development was driven by a 137.8% increase in receipts from residents of the EU27, which amounted to €6,797.7 million and accounted for 64.7% of total travel receipts, and by a 143.2% increase in receipts of non-EU27 residents to €3,530.8 million (table 2 and graph 2).

Specifically, receipts of residents of the euro area increased by 130.2% year-on-year to €5,536.2 million, while receipts of residents of non-euro area EU27 countries increased by 178.7% to reach 1,261.5 million euros.

Among the main countries of origin, receipts from Germany increased by 104.1% to 2,315.9 million euros and receipts from France increased by 169.9% to 991.7 million euros. Looking at non-EU27 countries, UK receipts increased by 93.9% to €1,465.9 million, while US receipts increased by 592.7% to €596. 2 million euros. Receipts from Russia also increased by 700.5% to 114.5 million euros.

Travel receipts by purpose of travel

Looking at the breakdown of non-resident expenditure in Greece by travel purpose, personal travel accounted for the bulk of total travel receipts in 2021, with a share of 95.7%, compared to 92.7 % in 2020, while the corresponding revenue increased by 151.1%. Within this category, recreation accounted for the largest share of total revenue (2021: 87.6%, 2020: 80.2%), with corresponding revenue increasing by 165.8% year-on-year to reach 9,201.5 millions of euros. Travel for family visits, with a 5.8% share of total receipts, although down from 9.1% last year, recorded a 55.2% increase in corresponding recipes. Receipts from travel for health reasons also increased by 31.2% to €22.6 million. Finally, business travel receipts increased by 42.6%, but their share in total receipts decreased (2021: 4.3%, 2020: 7.3% – Table 3 and Graph 3).

Flow of incoming travelers

As already mentioned, the number of incoming travelers in 2021 increased by 105.9% to 15,246.1 thousand, compared to 7,405.8 thousand in 2020. Specifically, passenger flows through airports increased by 109, 5% and passenger flows through road border crossing points increased by 69.6%. Travelers from within the EU27 accounted for 66.4% of total travellers, while travelers from outside the EU27 accounted for 30.1%[1]. In 2021, travelers from the EU27 increased by 107.0% compared to 2020. This development is attributed to an increase in the number of travelers from euro area countries by 113.5% to 7,359, 7 thousand, as well as an increase in the number of travelers from EU27 countries outside the euro zone of 91.6% to 2,763.3 thousand. Travelers from non-EU27 countries increased by 84.4% to 4,581.9 thousand.

In particular, travelers from Germany increased by 96.6% to 3,001.2 thousand and travelers from France increased by 150.5% to 1,174.5 thousand. Finally, with regard to non-EU27 countries, the number of travelers from the United Kingdom increased by 48.9% to 1,591.2 thousand, while travelers from the United States increased by 271, 6% to 396.0 thousand and from Russia 365.3% to 119.5 thousand (Table 4 and Chart 4).

Nights[2]

In 2021, the number of overnight stays in Greece amounted to 133,734.9 thousand, up 108.4% compared to 64,172.5 thousand in 2020. This increase is explained by an increase of 105.7 % of nights spent by residents of the EU27, as well as a 103.7% increase in nights spent by residents of non-EU27 countries. The increase in nights spent by residents of the EU27 is attributed to increases of 97.7% in nights spent by residents of the euro area and 144.6% in nights spent by residents of EU27 countries. not belonging to the euro zone. The number of overnight stays increased by 77.1% for German residents and 146.3% for French residents. For non-EU27 countries, the number of overnight stays increased by 54.4% for UK residents, 303.0% for US residents and 463.5% for Russian residents (Table 5 and Chart 5 ).

Cruises

Since 2012, the Bank of Greece has been carrying out a specific survey on cruises (“Cruise Survey”) in order to enrich the data collected via its Border Survey. Following a standardized methodology[3]Detailed cruise data for 2021 has been collected from 16 Greek ports, covering 84.0% of all cruise ship arrivals in Greece.

The year under review saw 2,074 cruise ship arrivals (2020: 159) and 1,538.8 thousand cruise passenger visits (2020: 68.2 thousand – Table 7). According to the cruise survey, 83.7% of all cruise passengers were transit visitors, with an average of 2.6 stopovers at Greek ports of call, compared to 2.0 stopovers in 2020.

Total cruise passenger revenue in 2021 increased 1,930.4% year-on-year to €200.8 million. Of this amount, 26.6 million euros were already captured in the border survey data, as they represent the receipts of travelers leaving the country through the last Greek ports, while the 174.3 million euros remaining are additional revenue data recorded by the cruise survey (Table 6).

Chart 7 shows a breakdown of cruise revenues by port. The port of Piraeus ranks first with a share of 38.9% of total cruise revenue, followed by the port of Corfu with 18.8% and the port of Heraklion with 13.9%, respectively. The seven largest cruise ports account for 91.7% of total cruise revenues and 86.2% of total visits by cruise passengers (Chart 8).

The total number of overnight stays ashore increased by 1,894.1% year-on-year to reach 2,887.9 thousand in 2021, with a positive impact on cruise revenues. The total number of cruise passengers also increased year-on-year, by 1,633.5% to around 585.8 thousand.

Balance of travel services by region[4]

As the border survey suggests, travel receipts in 2021 amounted to 10,328.4 million euros. Five regions concentrate the bulk (90.0%) of total receipts (Table 8), namely: the Southern Aegean Sea (€3,121.3 million), Crete (€2,395.0 million), Attica (€1,466.2 million), the Ionian Islands (€1,297.3 million) and Central Macedonia (€1,012.1 million). The remaining regions (Peloponnese, Thessaly, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Western Greece, Epirus, Central Greece, Northern Aegean and Western Macedonia) together accounted for €1,036.5 million.

Visits to Greece (all 13 regions combined) in 2021 totaled 16,375.9 thousand. The number of visits exceeds the number of inbound travelers (14,704.9 thousand travelers), as travelers can visit more than one region during a trip.

The five most visited regions, accounting for 86.0% of total visits, were: South Aegean (3,623.9 thousand visits), Crete (3,148.4 thousand), Central Macedonia (2,933, 7 thousand), Attica (2,639.8 thousand) and the Ionian Islands (1,742.2 thousand). The remaining regions (Peloponnese, Epirus, Western Greece, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Thessaly, Central Greece, Northern Aegean and Western Macedonia) totaled 2,287.9 ​​thousand visits.

The number of overnight stays in Greece during the period under review amounted to 131,357.5 thousand. According to the breakdown into 13 regions, five regions account for 86.7% of total overnight stays, namely: the South Aegean Sea (29,913.7 thousand overnight stays), Crete (26,872.0 thousand), Attica ( 21,431.5 thousand), Central Macedonia (21,296.1 thousand) and the Ionian Islands (14,390.5 thousand). The remaining regions (Peloponnese, Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, Thessaly, Western Greece, Epirus, Central Greece, Northern Aegean and Western Macedonia) total 17,453.6 thousand overnight stays.

Related link:

Detailed and definitive data on the balance of travel services are published in the travel servicessection of the Bank of Greece website.

[1] The remaining 3.5% correspond to data on cruise passenger flows other than those collected via the Border Survey (“non-BS cruise data”).

[2] It should be noted that each day visit, whatever the duration, is counted as one night.

[3] Overall cruise data is thus derived from two sources:

a) The Border Survey, which records data on cruise passengers leaving the country through a Greek exit point (airport, road border crossing point or seaport). In this case, cruise data is integrated into the global Border Survey statistics.

(b) The Cruise Survey, launched by the Bank of Greece in 2012. The survey is based on administrative data and aims to capture the rest of cruise passengers, grouping them into: (i) travelers with a port of greek tie; (ii) travelers with a final Greek port; and (iii) travelers in transit calling at Greek ports of call.

[4] Regional figures do not include cruise data collected from sources other than the Border Survey. Therefore, they differ from the aggregate data for travel services reported in previous sections.

Willie R. Golden