The data showed that 602,222 tourists came to Greece during the January-February 2014 period, up from 515,379 visitors during the same period last year. Arrivals in Greek airports grew by 19.3 percent in February alone. The data also showed that Athens welcomed the most arrivals from abroad.
This year is expected to be a record year for Greek tourism as long as the country remains politically stable, Greek tourism professionals have said. Over 17.5 million tourists visited Greece last year (almost 18 percent increase) while tourism receipts amounted to some 12 billion euros including cruise revenue.
The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) has announced that the official target for 2014 is for Greece to attract 18 million international arrivals and 13 billion euros in tourism revenue.
According to reports, so far the average increase in bookings from Germany and the United Kingdom – two of Greece’s biggest tourism markets – are up 20 percent and 10 percent respectively. Also, bookings from the U.S. to Greece have reached double-digit growth, while also on the up are bookings from the Scandinavian and Balkan markets.
On the other hand, bookings from Russia to Greece are currently down 20 percent. According to SETE, the shortfall in bookings from Russia is attributed mainly to the sharp devaluation of the ruble against the euro.