Some surprising revelations emerged from the results of an EU study announced recently. The 2017 study, by Eurostat, the official statistical authority of the European Union, reported how much the typical European household spends on recreation.
The figures, which were released on Friday, showed that Greece, which has been hard-hit by more than eight years of financial crisis and consecutive austerity measures, is ranked fourth in spending among all the E.U. member states.
An average of 15.4 percent of the household income of Greeks is spent in restaurants and hotels.
Cyprus ranked second, with 17.5 percent per household, behind Malta, whose residents spent a whopping 20.2 percent of their 2017 household income at hotels and restaurants.
According to Eurostat’s data, households in the E.U. spent an average of 8.8 percent of their total consumption expenditure on restaurants and hotels in 2017, meaning that more than €740 billion ($847 billion) were spent across the Union.
This sum represents 4.8 percent of the EU’s gross domestic product (GDP), or €1,400 ($1,603) per E.U. inhabitant.
The nations with the lowest percentages of expenditures on restaurants and hotels were eastern and northern E.U. member states such as Romania, Poland, Germany, Slovakia and Denmark.
The most remarkable finding, however, is that ten years ago, Greeks were spending an average of 13.7 percent of their income at hotels and restaurants — meaning that after ten years of extremely harsh economic and financial circumstances, Greeks did not reduce their recreation expenditures . On the contrary, they spent even more than they ever had before.
What these figures don’t show, however, is the qualitative distribution of these amounts. In other words, how the amount is distributed throughout the different income categories of Europeans. Some classes may have spent significantly higher amounts of money compared to others, chiefly those individuals who had lower incomes.