All roads go to… Greece

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Greece lures more than 20 million people each year, contributing 18% to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product. Maybe it is the friendly sunny climate covering six months of the year, maybe it is its golden beaches temptingly calling the turquoise waves of the three surrounding seas, perhaps it’s its ancient historical sites or its peaceful idyllic landscapes with their white and blue houses, their flowered window cases or their olive and orange orchards. Maybe it is a little bit of all these. Sure thing is that, despite all troubles, tourism is flourishing here and the tourists, including Romanian ones, are as faithful as ever to this destination.

21.4 million tourists visited Greece between January and November 2014. According to provisional data released by the Bank of Greece, quoted by greekreporter.com, during the eleven-month period, the number of incoming tourists rose by 22.7 percent, reaching a total of 21.497 million passengers, a significant increase compared to the 17.517 million passengers that traveled in the country during the same period in 2013.

As a result, the country’s tourism revenue increased by 10.8 pc compared to the same period in 2013, reaching a total of 13.262 billion euros.

A 15% revenue increase was also recorded in tourists originating from EU countries, which stood at 8.164 billion euros, and secondarily by revenue coming from residents of other countries outside the EU, which amounted to 4.694 billion euros between January and November 2014, resulting in a 5.8% increase compared to the same period in 2013.

The total revenue stemming from Eurozone residents amounted to 5.364 billion euros (11.9% increase), while revenue from residents of EU countries that are not part of the Eurozone showed a 21.7% increase compared to 2013.

Specifically, in 2014 German tourists spent 4.7% more money during their stay in Greece, while French tourists spent 25.1% more, which amounted to 1.125 billion euros. In contrast, Russian tourists spent less this year. The total travel revenue stemming from Russians dropped by 13.2%, reaching 1.158 billion euros, while revenue from U.S. tourists increased by 15.5%, reaching 644 million euros.

And, all in all, Greek airports ranked 6th place overall European airports in terms of passenger traffic, during 2014.

As far as Romanian tourists are concerned, a significant part of them abode by Greece as favorite holiday destination. Two of the biggest Romanian travel agencies reported increasing bookings for Greece touristic packages in the first half of 2015.

Read inside the “Travel” box of “Greece’s Day” the interview with Christian Tour CEO representing the only Romanian tour operator that owns a hotel in a Greek island and also a brief report on Paralela 45 travel agency’s bookings in Greece this year.

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