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Greece sees 10.5% Increase in Arrivals in the First Five Months

International tourist arrivals to Greece grew during January-May thanks to the high growth of air arrivals to Athens and Thessaloniki. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

International tourist arrivals to Greece grew during January-May thanks to the high growth of air arrivals to Athens and Thessaloniki. Photo © Maria Theofanopoulou

In the first five months of 2015, the number of international tourist arrivals to Greece increased by 10.5 percent compared to the same period last year, according to data released on Tuesday from the country’s main airports covering the January-May period.

According to the data, processed by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the increase in arrivals to Greece was exclusively due to the high passenger traffic growth at the airports in Athens (26 percent increase) and Thessaloniki (10 percent increase).

Despite the 10.5 percent increase, the confederation pointed out that during the first five months of the year and for the first time in the last two years, a small decline in arrivals to the popular Greek destinations of Heraklion (Crete) and Rhodes was recorded, with rates dropping 3.6 percent and 2.8 percent respectively.

The Cyclades and the Peloponnese destinations are continuing their positive international arrivals trend. As for arrivals to the Ionian, the data showed that up until now they remain stable compared to the same period of 2014.

Based on the above data, SETE said it remains cautious for this year’s total of international arrivals.

The confederation underlined that if all goes well with the government’s negotiation with the country’s lenders and if the value-added-tax rate on the Greek tourist package (accommodation and food service) remains at competitive levels, Greek tourism will be able to support the economy and achieve the goals set for 2015 and those for the coming years.

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