Road Tourism in Greece Amounts to 30.6% of Total Arrivals



Greece-Bulgaria border crossing: File photo

About 9.6 million tourists arrived to Greece by car in 2019, amounting to 30.6 percent of total arrivals, says a study of the Institute of the Hellenic Tourism Enterprises  Association (INSETE) published on Thursday.

The study entitled “Road tourism in Greece, 2012-2019” shows the contribution of road tourism to tourism in Greece overall, which in 2019 amounted to 9.6 million arrivals, 38.2 million overnight stays and 1.8 billion euros in revenue. It corresponds to 30.6 percent of total arrivals, 16.4 percent of overnight stays and 10.1 percent of revenue in the year.

The main markets in road tourism, as shown in the study, are Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Albania, Turkey and North Macedonia.

According to the study, road tourism is an important part of visitors in the country, especially for Northern Greece (Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus). On the other hand, road tourism is characterized by a relatively low average per capita expenditure (185 euros against 731 euros for the rest of tourism and 564 euros for total incoming tourism), as a result of the low average length of stay (4.0 nights compared to 8.9 and 7.4 respectively) but also the low Medium Cost per Night (47 euros against 82 euros and 76 euros respectively).

There is also strong seasonality and high concentration in the third quarter of the year. Specifically, 67 percent of total road tourism revenue appears in the third quarter, compared to 58 percent of the rest of tourism and 59 percent of the total.

The opening of the borders after the easing of the measures against the coronavirus pandemic would allow for capitalizing on the strong pre-existing demand for road tourism for the third quarter. The ease of access and the sense of security and independence that travel with a private vehicle offers can potentially enhance the aforementioned expected demand in the third quarter.

In terms of road tourism revenue, Romania was the largest market with 354 million euros in 2019. Serbia was second with 297 million euros and Bulgaria came third with 282 million euros.

Albania follows with 200 million euros in 2019, Turkey with 171 million euros and North Macedonia with 114 million euros.