Tourism: one million visitors in Greece in first quarter

23 July, 16:17

    (ANSAmed) – ATHENS, JULY 23 - While 2012 was a disappointing year for tourism in Greece with people staying away in the face of protests, strikes and riots against austerity, the year 2013 – which could set a record of 17 million arrivals – began with a bang in the first quarter with some one million visitors. Arrivals of tourists from abroad increased by 4.6% in the January-March 2013 period, compared with the same period last year, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Tuesday, citing a border statistical survey conducted by the Bank of Greece that found the biggest increase in arrivals to be from Asia. Total arrivals of non-residents in the first quarter of 2013 reached 1,023,354 as local media report. Arrivals from Europe, which account for the majority of arrivals of non-residents to Greece (78.9%), registered a decrease of 2.6% in the first quarter of the year, with those from European Union member states dipping by 3.3%.

    Arrivals from Bulgaria, Spain, Russia and Germany showed a significant increase in absolute values, though a significant decrease of arrivals, in absolute values, was observed from the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Netherlands and Belgium. The largest number of arrivals from Europe came from Bulgaria (14.6%), Albania (12.5%), Germany (8.1%), Cyprus (5.9%), the United Kingdom (4.5%) and Italy (4.2%). On a worldwide level the biggest increase in arrivals came from Asia (10.2% up from 2012), with a large contribution from Turkey (81.9% up from 2012), ELSTAT said. The main points of entry that account for the biggest percentage of traffic, by road, are Promahonas (8%) and Evzoni (7.3%) on the northern Greek border. Athens International Airport saw the most arrivals by air (33.1%), followed by Thessaloniki's Macedonia airport (8.3%). (ANSAmed).

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