A significant increase in the surplus balance of travel services was reported on Friday by the Bank of Greece, fuelled mostly by increased revenues. A hike in the average daily spending per traveller was also recorded.
Based on provisional data released by the BoG, balance in January 2019 posted a surplus of 66 million euros, up for a surplus of 14 million euros in the corresponding month of 2018.
The press release, by the BoG, read:
Balance of travel services
Based on provisional data, in January 2019 the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €66 million, compared with a surplus of €14 million in January 2018. More specifically, travel receipts in January 2019 rose by 53.2% to €232 million, from €152 million in January 2018, while travel payments also increased by 20.4% (January 2019: €166 million, January 2018: €138 million). The rise in travel receipts is attributed to a 40.4% increase in average expenditure per trip, as well as to a rise of 9.4% in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 3.0% of the goods deficit and accounted for 14.2% of total net receipts from services.
In January 2019, as mentioned previously, travel receipts increased by 53.2% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of the EU28 rose by 37.2% to €120 million and receipts from outside the EU28 rose by 76.3% (January 2019: €112 million, January 2018: €63 million). The higher receipts from within the EU28 were due to increases in receipts from euro area residents by 26,8% to €70 million (January 2018: €55 million) and in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU28 countries by 55.1% to €50 million. Among major countries of origin, receipts from Germany rose by 26.7% to €25 million and receipts from France increased by 112.1% to €7 million.
Receipts from the United Kingdom also increased, by 65.3% to €16 million. Turning to non-EU28 countries, receipts from Russia rose sharply to €7 million, whereas receipts from the United States rose by 22.1% to €13 million.
Inbound traveller flows
The number of inbound visitors in January 2019 rose by 9.4% year-on-year to 660 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports increased by 26.3%, while visitor flows through road border-crossing points increased by 5.9%. This increase in flows is attributed to higher visitor flows from both within the EU28 (up 3.5%) and outside the EU28 (up 18.7%). In greater detail, the number of visitors from the euro area increased by 7.6% to 176 thousand, while visitors from the non-euro area EU28 countries edged up by 0.3% (January 2019: 208 thousand, January 2018: 207 thousand).
Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany increased by 10.0% to 68 thousand, while visitors from France increased by 46.5% to 11 thousand. Visitors from the United Kingdom also increased, by 9.6% to 38 thousand. Turning to non-EU28 countries, the number of visitors from Russia rose sharply to 10 thousand, while the number of visitors from the United States increased by 13.6% to 25 thousand.