Leading Russian tour operators and travel agents will attend a Greek-Russian tourism forum in Athens next month to further discuss ways of cooperation with the Greek tourism market, the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Yiorgos Tsakiris said yesterday, 14 January.
The forum will be held 10 February 2013 and aims to attract a larger share of tourists from the Russian market. Details on the forum will be announced soon.
“Arrivals from Russia last year saved the game of Greek tourism,” Mr. Tsakiris said.
Greece is making efforts this year to strengthen the Russian tourist wave and prospects seem to be very positive since arrivals from Russia in 2012 were estimated to have exceeded one million (official figures have not yet been released).
According to data, Russian arrivals last year increased some 30 percent compared to 2011 when visitors from Russia had already increased by some 64 percent (740,000 tourists) from 2010 (400,000 tourists).
In regards to tourism revenue, visitors from Russia are among the biggest spenders in Greece as it is estimated that every Russian tourist spends 20 percent more money on average than the next highest ranked tourist by country of origin.
2013 Greek tourism season
In regards to this year’s tourism season, Mr. Tsakiris underlined that the positive trend of international bookings to Greece was optimistic only for certain Greek destinations.
He stressed that due to the dramatic drop in domestic tourism, hotels in certain Greek regions (such as Central Macedonia, Epirus, the Peloponnese) were facing a very difficult situation. “These destinations do not have access to international arrivals,” Mr. Tsakiris said.
For the past two years, Greeks have become more modest in spending on travel in their country due to continuous austerity measures (salary and pension cuts, layoffs and tax hikes).
It is estimated that domestic tourism in Greece dropped some 20 percent last year.