2016 to be a banner year for Greek tourism

first_imgIn debt-stricken Greece, tourism offers a ray of hope, as 2016 shows positive signs of becoming a record year, in no small part thanks to last-minute reservations in July. Despite local and regional problems – from the imposition of capital controls, to the ongoing refugee crisis, and political turmoil in Turkey – Greece saw a surge in tourist arrivals, especially in Crete, the Ionian Islands and the Cyclades, where airport traffic increased 12.8 per cent, 13.3 per cent and 8.7 per cent, respectively, compared to July 2015. Passenger traffic at the Athens and Thessaloniki airports was up by 10 and 11.4 per cent respectively. In terms of overland tourist arrivals in July, the numbers showed an increase of 26.8 per cent, 3.7 per cent and 46.2 per cent from Albania, Bulgaria and Turkey.However, the numbers are different when it comes to the islands closer to Turkey, such as Samos and Lesvos in the north-eastern Aegean, and the Dodecanese islands, which are more affected by the refugee crisis. Kos, in the Dodecanese, reported 13 per cent lower airport traffic, Samos 16.3 per cent, but the most gravely stricken was Lesvos, losing 62 per cent of arrivals. The island is one of those targeted by people smugglers, sending boats filled with refugees from the opposite Turkish coast. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img

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