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Developments in the balance of travel services: June 2020

21/08/2020 - Press Releases

Balance of travel services 

Based on provisional data, the balance of travel services in June 2020 showed an estimated[1] surplus of €28 million, compared with a surplus of €2,363 million in June 2019, due to the extensive travel restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. More specifically, travel receipts in June 2020 fell by 97.5% to €64 million, from €2,558 million in June 2019, while travel payments also decreased by 81.3% (June 2020: €36 million, June 2019: €195 million). The fall in travel receipts resulted from a 93.8% decline in inbound traveller flows and a 58.7% decrease in average expenditure per trip. Net receipts from travel services offset 2.1% of the goods deficit and accounted for 9.2% of total net receipts from services.

In January-June 2020, the balance of travel services showed a surplus of €243 million, down from a surplus of €4,077 million in the same period of 2019. Travel receipts fell by €4,736 million or 87.5% to €678 million, while travel payments also decreased, by €901 million or 67.4% to €435 million. The drop in travel receipts stemmed from a 44.4% fall in average expenditure per trip and a 76.9% decrease in inbound traveller flows. Net receipts from travel services offset 2.6% of the goods deficit and accounted for 11.2% of total net receipts from services.

Travel receipts

In June 2020, as mentioned previously, travel receipts declined by 97.5% year-on-year. In more detail, receipts from residents of EU27 countries fell by 97.8% to €31 million, while receipts from outside the EU27 decreased by 97.0% (June 2020: €33 million, June 2019: €1,107 million). The lower receipts from within the EU27 were due to decreases in receipts from euro area residents by 98.5% to €17 million (June 2019: €1,122 million) and in receipts from residents of non-euro area EU27 countries by 94.8% to €14 million. Among major countries of origin, the only receipts recorded were from Germany and France and were very low (down by 98.0% and 99.4% year-on-year respectively).

In January-June 2020, travel receipts totalled €678 million, down by 87.5% relative to the same period of 2019. This development was driven by a 90.4% decline in receipts from residents of EU27 countries, which came to €271 million and by an 83.4% drop in receipts from residents of non-EU27 countries to €405 million. In particular, receipts from euro area residents decreased by 90.9% to €210 million, while receipts from residents of non-euro area EU27 countries fell by 87.5% to €60 million. Specifically, receipts from Germany dropped by 93.5% to €59 million and receipts from France fell by 95.4% to €16 million. Turning to non-EU27 countries, receipts from the United Kingdom dropped by 93.1% to €51 million and receipts from the United States decreased by 85.0% to €60 million. Receipts from Russia also decreased, by 90.5% to €11 million.

Inbound traveller flows[2]

The number of inbound visitors in June 2020 fell by 93.8% year-on-year to 256 thousand. Specifically, visitor flows through airports declined by 99.1% and visitor flows through road border-crossing points fell by 77.2%. This overall decrease was due to lower visitor flows from both within the EU27 (down 92.3%) and outside the EU27 (down 95.7%). In greater detail, the number of visitors from within the euro area fell by 98.4% to 25 thousand, while visitors from non-euro area EU27 countries fell by 81.2% (June 2020: 158 thousand, June 2019: 843 thousand). Among major countries of origin, there were only some modest visitor flows from Germany and France, and those were down by 97.9% and 99.6% year-on-year respectively.

In January-June 2020, the number of inbound visitors fell by 76.9% to 2,178 thousand (January-June 2019: 9,407 thousand). Specifically, visitor flows through airports declined by 84.6% and visitor flows through road border-crossing points fell by 55.4%. In the period under review, visitors from within the EU27 dropped by 78.6% year-on-year to 1,131 thousand, while visitors from outside the EU27 decreased by 74.7% to 1,046 thousand. The number of visitors from within the euro area fell by 85.5%, while visitors from non-euro area EU27 countries dropped by 64.4%. Specifically, the number of visitors from Germany fell by 89.1% to 148 thousand, while visitors from France decreased by 93.4% to 35 thousand. Turning to non-EU27 countries, the number of visitors from the United Kingdom fell by 89.4% to 117 thousand, while visitors from the United States dropped by 79.6% to 86 thousand and visitors from Russia decreased by 85.8% to 22 thousand.

Note: The next Press Release on “Developments in the balance of travel services” for July 2020 will be published on 22 September 2020.

Methodological Note

Special travel conditions and behaviours induced by the global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the associated movement restrictions caused the Border Survey to be suspended from 15 March to 1 July.

In order to ensure data comparability over time, the Bank of Greece has adopted the following approach:

1.         For each border-crossing point, inbound and outbound flows were broken down, percentagewise, into periods 1-15 March and 16 March-30 June.

2.         Data collected for the period 1-15 March were checked, processed and analysed using the standardised methodology.

3.         For the period 16 March-30 June, extrapolation factors were estimated for main traveller flows per type of border-crossing point, using detailed data on official flows at border-crossing points and historical data on traveller flow distribution by month and border-crossing point.


 

[1] See the Methodological Note at the end of this Press Release.

[2] Inbound traveller flows exclude cruise passengers (other than those recorded in the Border Survey).

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