Further rise of tourist traffic in 2017

The domestic sector of travel and tourist agencies (tour operators) is examined in a recent study of Infobank Hellastat S.A. According to Alexis Nikolaidis, Economic Research & Sectorial Studies Senior Analyst, in 2017, Greek tourism recorded new historic highs in arrivals and receipts, with competitive prices, as well as security problems in competitor Mediterranean destinations, serving as positive parameters. In detail, during the year, a further rise by 9.7% was recorded in domestic arrivals, at 27.2m travelers, while receipts returned to positive growth, having increased to 11.4%, at €14.2bn. Most travel agencies of the country benefited from this upward trend, improving thus their turnovers.

However, a negative aspect has been the marginal rise of per capita expenditure by 1.5%, at €522, in 2017, which is a much lower level than that of 2008 (€730).

Incoming foreign tourists who come to Greece through tour operators have recorded a remarkable rise over the last two years. According to the Bank of Greece, in 2017, their number increased significantly by 15.3%, at 10m tourists, with the rate of increase of individual tourists being fairly lower (+4%).

During the 2011-2017 period, the number of tourists traveling through tour operators more than doubled, showing a cumulative increase of 122%, with the number of individual tourists rising by 69%. Therefore, the rate of participation of tour operators in tourist traffic boosted from 27% in 2011, to 33% in 2017.

Furthermore, in 2017, the revenues of tour operators, after a decline over a period of three years, showed a sharp rise of 20.5%, slightly exceeding €5bn, with the corresponding figure of individual tourists rising by 6.2%.

Tourists visiting Greece through agencies have shown a higher per capita expenditure than individual travelers over time. Therefore, in 2017, this figure in the sector of agencies (tour operators) was formed at €510.3, having increased by 4.5% versus the previous year, whereas “independent” tourists spent in average €472.6; an amount that has increased by 2.2%.

According to Nicolas Gouzelos, CEO of Infobank Hellastat, “Operators in the tourism sector estimate that, this year, the market will continue its upward trend, since pre-bookings already show an increase of 10% in average. This emerging trend is fueled by the satisfactory progress shown by the economies of the key countries of origin of tourists (the Eurozone, Central Europe, the Balkans), which is also reflected in the upward trend in consumer trust indices. These conditions illustrate the prospects of maintaining a strong demand in the immediate future.”

 Financial analysis
In the study of ΙΒ.HS, the financial statements of 257 companies are analyzed. The key conclusions can be summarized as follows:

  • In 2016, Turnover was formed at €908.4m, having increased by 3.7%, compared to 2015.
  • EBITDA dropped by 24.6% to €25.2m, while EBT declined at a rate of 41.6%, to the level of €12m.
  • The EBITDA margin and the EBT margin subsided to 3.9% and 1.5%, respectively.
  • Capital leveraging deteriorated to 2.4 over 1.
  • Receivables were collected within a period of 3.5 months.


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