The seasonality model and why there will be NO change

(Published in 30.01.2024, in greek)

It is a fact that the seasonality of Greek tourism remains constant over time. During July-August-September, more than 50% of the total demand is consistently recorded. 

The occasional interventions in the marketing mix (product enrichment, more attractive pricing, targeted promotion, repositioning) have not paid off. The main reason for this is that there is another more important and more influential factor: the lack of a critical mass of tourists for the off-season. 

At the level of the European Union and for the period 2000-2020, the data in all Member States show that, on average, the percentage of Government servants (direct governmental service relationship) in terms of the total number of employees, is at least 16,5 % (see graph). 

Source: Eurostat:

Given that traditionally, the vast majority of Government servants take their long-term annual leave in the summer months of July, August and September, the probability of taking a multi-day trip during the off-season is rather weak. 

However, the actual percentage of those who cannot travel during the off-season period is much higher than 16,5% and it is explained as follows: if we assume that half of this percentage includes couples, where both spouses are Government servants and the rest half, couples where only one of the two spouses is a Government servant, then we see that this percentage is close to 25%. At this point, the wider public sector should be added along with the percentage of the private sector employment, which is highly dependent on the operation of the Governmental sector and which, according to conservative estimates, cannot be less than 10% of total employment. 

For example, when the European Commission and the European Parliament are on holiday in Brussels in August, all the businesses – from restaurants and cafes to bookstores and florists – in the wider area called the "European Quarter", are also on holiday.

If we include the families with school children, then, it can be easily concluded that at least 50% of the citizens of the European Union are obliged to take their holidays in July and August. So, that explains the constant 50%+ of the total demand during the high season.

In a few years, and due to the climate crisis, it is predicted that excessively high temperatures may prevail in the summer. If this happens, many of our traditional customers are likely to look for different holiday periods, having previously requested their annual leave for a different period. Thus, we will see the seasonality curve flattening, a fact which will be celebrated as an extension of the tourist season! 

Conclusion: if the planning of annual leaves will not change Europe-wide, then, there is no chance that the time distribution of international tourism demand will change significantly. Otherwise, any change in the seasonality pattern, which is not necessarily accompanied by an increase in demand, will be caused by the climate crisis. 


George Drakopoulos