International arrivals at Greek airports showed a robust Q3 with an increase of 9.3% y-o-y. September was particularly strong with an increase of 13.2% y-o-y. However, arrivals on the islands of Kos and Lesbos dropped by 13% and 57% respectively up to Q3 2016, while Rhodes increased their arrivals with 9.3%. Also the main airports of Crete, the Ionian Islands and Cyclades showed increases in international arrivals up to September of 11.3%, 12.2% and 10.1% y-o-y.
In line with the increase of arrivals at the Athens International airport, occupancy improved during Q3 after a difficult H1. Room rates improved 4.5% y-o-y YTD Q3 2016. In Thessaloniki occupancy levels increased with double digit numbers during Q3, while room rates slightly declined in comparison to the same quarter in 2015. Resort hotels in Greece improved their performance compared to last year based on an increase of 9.4% y-o-y of Total Revenue per Available Room up to Q3 2016. However, the lower hotel categories face fierce competition and their TRevPAR dropped significantly.
We must note that expectations, after the record year of 2015, were too high at the beginning of the season in some destinations, especially in Santorini and Mykonos. That does not mean that they had a bad year though.
On an international level Southern Europe performed on par so far with last year in terms of RevPAR. However, there significant differences between Mediterranean countries. The Spanish and Portuguese hotel sectors improved their RevPAR with 13% and 12% y-o-y up to September 2016, while RevPAR over the same period declined in Turkey, France and Italy with 42%, 11% and -1.6% respectively.
Data of the Bank of Greece shows that tourist arrivals up to August increased with 1.8% compared to a year earlier, which is the result of increased arrivals by air and a small drop in arrivals by car.
However, travel receipts dropped significantly. As shown in the graph, during the high season period of June – August receipts dropped by 6.8%, while August recorded a drop of 10% in comparison with a year earlier. The Greek tourism industry has started an intense discussion on the reasons, but without all the data of 2016 at hand one cannot make a full analysis.
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