The number of tourists flocking into embattled Greece has soared this summer as the number of visitors from Russia and Turkey provide a much-needed economic boost to the country.
According to figures the number of Russians and Turks visiting Greece is likely to exceed two million this year, with all time highs being reported in both countries. The number of Russians visiting Greece soared by 37.6% in the January to May period beating the numbers visiting other EU countries such as Spain and Cyprus.
The head of the Hoteliers’ Association in Iraklio (Crete), Nikos Halkiadakis, takes the view that arrivals from Russia may exceed those from any other country this year. In the April-July period it was 252,900, exceeding even arrivals from Germany, which totalled 222,070. This is also encouraging in terms of the projected revenues, as each Russian spends about €1,000 on average while on foreign trips – slightly more than the average German tourist – when the average visitor to Greece lays out about €560. The growing number of visitors is thought to due to down to Greece easing the formerly strict Visa requirements.
As a result of the surge in visitor numbers, tourism receipts in Greece jumped by 21% to €1.59bn (£1.35bn) in June compared with a year earlier. It meant tourism receipts in the first half of the year overall were up 18% at €3.32bn according to the Bank of Greece.
The lure of the Grecian sun, as well as a smaller trade gap, helped to lift the country’s current account balance to a surplus of €663m in June from €73.1m in the same month last year.
The Euro meanwhile was little moved on Monday due to a quiet trading session and the lack of key data releases.
Euro (EUR) Exchange Rates
As of 13:00 pm
The Euro/US Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3353 >
The Euro/Pound Sterling Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 0.8530 >
The Euro/Australian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.4601 >
The Euro/ New Zealand Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.6460 >
The Euro/ Canadian Dollar Exchange Rate is currently in the region of: 1.3803 >