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Greek Islands Travel

Greek tourist visitors spend less this year

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They have been arriving in larger numbers than ever, but Greek Island holidaymakers are a lot more stingy with their holiday cash.

Latest figures show tourists in Greece kept a much tighter grip on their wallets this year.

Hotel and taverna owners ended up working a lot harder for less money as visitors, mostly from the UK and Germany, feel the pinch of economic slowdown.

Figures from the Bank of Greece show tourist spending down a whopping 9.3% in 2016 compared to the previous year.

And things got worse as the holiday season wore on with a drop of more than 10% in September, the biggest monthly drop in a decade.

The average spend of the holiday visitor to Greece this year was a measly €546.

There are plenty of factors at play when trying to work out why tourists are playing tight with their holiday spending.

For UK visitors the post-Brexit plunge in the value of the pound against the euro must be a factor.

But tourism experts in Greece also point to the general 'atmosphere' in Greece where years of austerity have taken their toll.

The migrant crisis and the political upheavals in neighbouring Turkey are also blamed for the fall.

Many Greek hotel owners dropped prices this year to compensate for the loss of trade following the influx of refugees fleeing the wars in the Middle East.

Political problems in Turkey saw budget holidaymakers turn to Greece this year looking more for a bargain holiday, not a free spending one.

But it isn't the Brits who held onto their hard-earned cash this year. US tourists cut spending by more than 26%, and Germans kept 10% more in their wallets.

British holidaymakers were, in fact, the least stingy of the lot but they still parted with 5.6% less this year.

It's still a worrying time for the Geek tourism sector as spending actually went up in rival holiday destinations like Spain where average holiday spending of €1,005 is nearly double that of Greece.

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