The upward trend of recent years for Greek tourism will not continue in 2019. Tourism businessmen, professional and practitioners comment on this. Comments ranging from: "empty rooms, no strategic plan, ..." to, "fatigue, expected correction, cheaper competitors ...".
In Chart 1, we see, for the period 1993-2018, the years-increasing and the years -decreasing demand for Greek tourism, as expressed by the variable "Non-resident arrivals". Whenever there was a decline, it was never limited to just one year. So let's prepare for the possibility of this trend to be confirmed in 2020, or let's plan our reaction.
Looking at the performance of Greek tourism in terms of its basic figures, we choose as reference period(s) the rolling decade.
Performance appraisal for the current year alone is unfair to the tourism economy and the efforts of all those who have invested and dealt with it over the years.
Table 1 shows the number of years of increasing and decreasing demand, per rolling decade. From 5-5 of the decades (2001-2010), (2002-2011) and (2003-2012) to 9-1 in the last decade 2009-2018.
In Table 2, we added "arrivals" and "receipts" again at intervals of rolling decades. Comparing the decades, there has been a steady increase of 1% in arrivals. In terms of receipts, slight fluctuations, but in recent years steady growth trend of over 2.5% over a decade. A pleasant exception is the comparison between the decades (2008-2017) and (2009-2018), where growth rates jump to 7.3% for arrivals and 4.1% for receipts.
In Chart 2, this trend is plotted and probably shows continuity. Arrivals will increase faster than receipts as we try to face competition with a more attractive (lower) price rather than a value for money approach.
In a country such as Greece, where tourism has been, is and will be its main development pillar, its performance should be evaluated in the long run. We should always have in mind, that the big sports teams that win the many titles, do not win every race, they do not win the championship every year. But they are still great because they have a plan, they offer highly-priced tickets and they focus on being "value for money".