Greece’s Tourism Revenues Plunge Due to Lockdown



Tourists take photographs of the Caryatids, part of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis. Source: Apostolis Makris/Greek Reporter

The coronavirus lockdown has hit tourism revenues hard, according to data published on Friday by the Bank of Greece.

In the four months between January and April of 2020, the number of tourist arrivals was reduced by 36.1 percent — and revenues by a staggering 51.4 percent — compared to the corresponding period last year.

For the month of April alone, the number of arrivals decreased by 96.2 percent and receipts by 98.7 percent compared to the corresponding month of 2019.

According to the Bank of Greece, overall revenues accrued during April plunged precipitously to 7.0 million euros from 544 million in the same month one year earlier.

Last Monday, Greece reopened its borders, and some of its airports, to tourism after months of restrictions which undoubtedly helped contain the spread of Covid-19. Yet despite the state’s many and varied efforts to save some of this year’s tourism revenues, industry professionals are bracing for a season that will be all but lost.

“Ahead of us, we have got the most difficult summer ever,” declared Greek Deputy Minister of Tourism Manos Konsolas earlier in the week.

The Greek economy, which is predicted by the European Commission to shrink 9.7 percent in 2020, cannot afford to shut out tourists completely this year, given that directly and indirectly, tourism contributes approximately 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.