The best of seasons, the worst of seasons

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
The best of seasons, the worst of seasons

It was the best of seasons, it was the worst of seasons

Perhaps nothing can describe better the aftertaste of this year’s tourism season in Greece than the classic aphorism Charles Dickens employed in the introduction of “A Tale of Two Cities”.

Most indications, from official data to unofficial reports, point towards an oxymoron, as arrivals increased by 1.1% from January to July while revenues fell by 4.8% during the exact same period.

Alpha Bank cites three reasons for this discrepancy in its most recent report:

1. The overall drop in expenditure per foreign visitor trip
2. The change in the composition of tourists by country of origin and 
3. The evolution of the individual travelers / travel packages ratio which influenced expenditure per trip 

Thus, the average expenditure per trip shrank gradually over the financial crisis, from € 640 in 2010 to € 541 in 2015 and to € 542 in the first seven months of 2016 compared to € 579 in the same period of 2015. 

This decline can be attributed in part to the gradual reduction of the average non-resident length of stay in Greece from 9.3 nights in 2010 to 7.2 in 2015. 

Domestic tourism downfall

Furthermore, it is a direct consequence of the lower prices that Greek tourism businesses offer to attract foreign visitors, in an effort to offset their losses from domestic tourism downfall. 

Greek travelers accounted for 29% the country’s total overnight stays in 2010, a figure which dropped to 20% in 2015.

Arrivals by country of origin (barring cruises) indicate a boost in visitor numbers from Balkan countries, who generally spend less money than EU visitors.

Balkan tourists stood for 20% -22% of all traffic in 2010-2013 but reached 29% by 2015.

Conversely, Eurozone arrivals fell from 41% to 35% from 2010 to 2015. 

Moreover, between 2014 and 2015 there was a sharp decrease in Russian visitors, who spent € 822 per trip compared to the overall average of € 541. 

The share of Russian visitors is expected to recover in 2016 as arrivals from Russia increased by 19.3% during the first seven months, yet it is not expected to reach the 2013 figure of 8% of total arrivals.

September and, to a lesser extent, October, are also expected to be crucial months, as the lengthening of the season will be decisive for the development of travel receipts this year.

Ambient feeling of hope and agony

What the data fails to record though is the ambient feeling of combined (and contradictory) hope and agony.

A sense of relief certainly prevails that the worst was avoided during a season that had plenty of “fleurs du mal” from the terrorist attacks to Brussels, Paris, Istanbul, Nice, to Brexit, the attempted military coup d’ etat in Turkey, the refugee influx, the ongoing financial crisis, war and rumors of war in Syria, the Middle East and elsewhere.

Yet, a general feeling of uneasiness remains since it is still possible that during 2017 things can get worse before they get better.

So, when the “omnipotence of numbers” fails to offer solutions and reassurance, one can only resort to literature and poetry, in order to keep on hoping and dreaming of that “next magical Greek vacation”.

Let us therefore return to where we started and cite Dickens again:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

 

Tornos
  1. 24/02 00:52

    Filmmaker Ami Horowitz beaten by Muslims in Swedish no-go zone (video)

  2. 24/02 00:49

    Latest German reference to 'Grexit' comes from far left Die Linke party

  3. 24/02 00:43

    Savvidis group nears 50% of Souroti soda water bottler shares

  4. 24/02 00:41

    Greek FinMin: Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated

  5. 24/02 00:37

    Latest poll: 52% Germans want Grexit - 19% rise in one year

  6. 23/02 23:09

    Bank of Greece governor: Implement reforms immediately

  7. 23/02 23:06

    IMF chief Lagarde: Reforms first, debt relief later in Greece

  8. 23/02 23:02

    Future of Cyprus talks uncertain as UN's Eide works with leaders

  9. 23/02 22:58

    Greek Health Ministry in favour of medicinal cannabis

  10. 23/02 22:56

    Greek government offers favorable settlements for business debtors

  11. 23/02 22:49

    Astronomers discover 7 potentially habitable exoplanets close to nearby dwarf star

  12. 23/02 22:46

    Competition authorities in Greece examine deals in food sector

  13. 23/02 22:43

    US President Trump repeals transgender toilette imposed by Obama

  14. 23/02 21:46

    ND calls on Greek Fin Min to make official statement on Eurogroup

  15. 23/02 19:00

    Sklavenitis-Marinopoulos super-market merger in final stretch of implementation

  16. 23/02 17:35

    Greek PM attends ceremony handing over SNFCC to the state on Thursday

  17. 23/02 17:31

    Renowned Greek director Nikos Koundouros dies at age 91

  18. 23/02 17:12

    Chinese nationals lead “Greek Golden Visa” investment program

  19. 23/02 17:07

    Popular Greek actor Themis Manesis dies at the age of 72

  20. 23/02 16:59

    Football coach Fernando Santos speaks about his love for Greece

  21. 23/02 16:48

    Women burn veils celebrating liberation from ISIS (video)

  22. 23/02 16:45

    First-aid stumbling block for regional airport delivery to Fraport Greece

  23. 23/02 16:42

    Studies: Extreme exercise causes lower sex drive

  24. 23/02 16:40

    Creditors expected to return to Athens next week

  25. 23/02 15:35

    Even refugees flee some parts of Sweden to escape the violence

  26. 23/02 14:31

    Report: Investors' interest in Thessaloniki port privatization sinks

  27. 23/02 13:28

    Turkish survey vessel sailing between Greek islands raising tensions

  28. 23/02 12:25

    Germans’ demand for holidays in Greece peaks

  29. 23/02 11:21

    Trump vs. media: Who do people believe? (infographic)

  30. 22/02 17:27

    Two Athens metro stations close down over the weekend

  31. 22/02 17:23

    Merkel to meet with Lagarde and Juncker in Berlin over Greek issue

  32. 22/02 17:20

    Moscovici: 'Truly balanced' package of reforms and growth for Greece

  33. 22/02 17:17

    Angelina Jolie and family eat bugs in Cambodia (shocking video)

  34. 22/02 17:15

    Critical assist of Antetokounmpo to Greek tourism

  35. 22/02 17:12

    Greek President Pavlopoulos' visit to Saudi Arabia concluded

  36. 22/02 17:07

    Milo Yiannopoulos announces resignation from Breitbart News (video)

  37. 22/02 17:02

    “Dancing to Connect” educational program in Athens and Komotini in Greece

  38. 22/02 16:59

    Greek Environment and Energy Minister Stathakis to visit Baku on Thursday

  39. 22/02 16:57

    ESM CEO Regling: Greece will return to markets by middle of 2018

  40. 22/02 15:54

    Hellenic Petroleum to report record-high results for 2016

  41. 22/02 14:48

    Facebook news feed down while many people vent their anger on Twitter

  42. 22/02 13:45

    Only one refugee arrived in last five days on northern Aegean islands

  43. 22/02 12:41

    Greek Tourism Minister in Hijab on official visit for country's promotion

  44. 22/02 11:37

    Greek FM: Appropriate legal, political and diplomatic answer to any action of Turkey

  45. 22/02 10:30

    TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards: Five Greek beaches among top-20 in Europe

  46. 22/02 01:10

    Turkey to acquire Russian S-400 missile systems in the Aegean (video)

  47. 22/02 00:55

    National Geographic: 7 Luxury Travel Trends for 2017 emerge in ILTM Cannes

  48. 22/02 00:49

    Recycling of electrical appliances up in Greece during last 3 years

  49. 22/02 00:47

    IMF's Lipton: Progress achieved over Greek program

  50. 22/02 00:44

    Eurogroup chief: Monday agreement over Greek program to IMF's liking

  51. 22/02 00:41

    Report: Strategic defaulters sitting on €10 billion loans in Greece

  52. 22/02 00:38

    Greek public broadcaster ERT to hold work stoppages this week

  53. 22/02 00:36

    Greek shipowners and union still at odds over contract

  54. 22/02 00:34

    Βank οf Greece: Current account deficit up during December 2016

  55. 22/02 00:31

    Greek police clash with anti-fascist protestors at 1913 battle memorial

  56. 22/02 00:29

    UNICEF: 1.4 million children could die from famine during 2017

  57. 22/02 00:27

    ND: Return of creditors tied to new concessions and painful measures

  58. 22/02 00:25

    German Fin Min: Greece needs competitiveness and sustainable growth

  59. 22/02 00:22

    Turkish Prime Minister hand-in-hand with ultra-nationalist “Grey Wolves”

  60. 22/02 00:18

    Greece presents new Energy Exchange project for 2018

  61. 22/02 00:15

    Greek President: Saudi Arabia could play central role against terrorism

  62. 22/02 00:12

    Milo Yiannopoulos loses book deal for Amazon’s best seller “Dangerous”

  63. 22/02 00:02

    Trump vindicated by refugee riots and looting in Stockholm (videos)

  64. 21/02 23:31

    Greek Coast Guard rejects media reports that Turkish boat sailed to Imia

  65. 21/02 23:25

    Countdown for the largest Carnivals in Greek cities

  66. 21/02 23:18

    25 Greek companies take part in SAGIA forum in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

  67. 21/02 23:16

    Marine Le Pen refuses to wear headscarf in Lebanon meeting with Grand Mufti

  68. 21/02 23:09

    Russia’s U.N. envoy Churkin dies suddenly in New York

  69. 21/02 23:06

    Athens Concert Hall - Megaron hosts first International Music Competition (video)

  70. 21/02 23:03

    Meteora Natural History and Mushroom Museum organises truffle hunting activities

  71. 21/02 23:00

    Hurriyet: Turkish Coast Guard boat went to Imia (video)

  72. 21/02 22:55

    Leader of the Hellas Everest 2004 mission climber Kostas Tzivelekas has died

  73. 21/02 22:38

    Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center welcomes the public to handover celebration on February 23

  74. 21/02 22:28

    Bank of Greece: Tourism revenue declines by 6.4% during 2016

  75. 21/02 22:17

    Greek government in damage control mode after Eurogroup deal

  76. 21/02 22:07

    Historic moment: Private rocket launched by SpaceX

  77. 21/02 22:02

    Documentary films take center stage in Thessaloniki 19th TDF Festival

  78. 21/02 21:57

    Photographer captures in Greenland largest glacier calving ever filmed

  79. 21/02 17:15

    Military tourism: United Arab Emirates armed forces live at IDEX 2017 (video)

  80. 21/02 17:02

    Greek-Irish comics artist Michael Dialynas’s dreams come true in New York

  81. 21/02 16:58

    NASA major press conference on ‘discovery beyond our solar system’

  82. 21/02 16:42

    Greek assistance to Balkan initiative in multiple myeloma treatment

  83. 21/02 16:37

    5 US citizens and Australian pilot dead in Melbourne plane crash (videos)

  84. 21/02 16:35

    Greek President Pavlopoulos meets with ministers in Saudi Arabia

  85. 21/02 16:32

    French nuclear agency: Mystery radioactive residue over Europe raises concern

  86. 21/02 15:55

    Bids for Larnaca port development in Cyprus due on March 3

  87. 21/02 14:13

    Athens metro and tram workers announce 24-hour strikes on February 23 and March 1 and 3

  88. 21/02 13:45

    Greek legends inspire new novels, short stories and even a TV drama

  89. 21/02 12:40

    Digital Humanities Awards: ToposText app nominated for 'Best use' category

  90. 21/02 11:31

    Greece 6th in Russian travelers’ online searches with 116.4% rise from last year

  91. 20/02 23:02

    Research: Big data analytics help hotels in "amenity wars" to gain customers' loyalty

  92. 20/02 20:48

    Greek President to pay two-day official visit to Saudi Arabia

  93. 20/02 20:44

    EC to probe Greek rail company's debts threatening privatization

  94. 20/02 20:42

    Eurogroup decides return of bailout monitors to Greece

  95. 20/02 20:32

    New wave of bad weather to hit Greece

  96. 20/02 20:30

    PM briefed on plight of children in Ukraine's Greek villages

  97. 20/02 20:27

    Greek Defense Minister: Need for NATO-EU cooperation on terror issues

  98. 20/02 20:20

    Giannis Antetokounmpo: I want to make Greeks proud (video)

  99. 20/02 20:17

    Greek Energy Minister on lignite and hydroelectric generation auctions

  100. 20/02 20:13

    Shocking footage of Brazilian carnival queen shot dead in car (video)