International tourist arrivals to Greece by air continued to show a strong upward trend in August, InSETE’s latest report showed on Monday.
According to data available from all main Greek airports, international arrivals grew in August by five percent compared to the same period in 2014, reaching three million arrivals. During the first eight months of the year, arrivals increased by six percent to a total of 11.7 million.
Athens continued to draw in the crowds in August and recorded a 23 percent increase compared to August 2014. The Greek capital saw a 26 percent rise in arrivals in the first eight months of the year.
Moreover, almost all Greek destinations saw positive figures during the January-August period, except Rhodes (-2 percent drop in arrivals), Kos (-2 percent), Heraklion (-2 percent) and Kalamata (-5 percent).
The rise in domestic air traffic continued in August, as arrivals increased by 25 percent compared to the same period of 2014, exceeding 800,000. During the first eight months of the year, arrivals grew by 28 percent to a total of 4.6 million.
Arrivals by road show increase, despite drop in Jul-Aug
Tourists who opted to visit Greece via road during the first eight months of 2015 amounted to 8.7 million, presenting an increase of 10 percent.
However, according to InSETE, the growth in arrivals by road was due to increased travel during the first half of the year, as data showed a significant reduction during July and August.
The main point of entry which accounted for the biggest percentage of traffic by road to Greece, compared to 2014, was the Evzoni border station (FYROM) followed by the Nymfaia border station (Bulgaria).
Arrivals by sea present “altered” picture
Domestic ferry travel on routes covering the Northern Aegean and Dodecanese islands showed an increase in passenger traffic during the first eight months of the year — 13.3 percent and 9.9 percent respectively.
However, InSETE clarified that the “actual picture” of the tourist industry during that period of time was “altered” by the ferry travel of migrants and refugees from Aegean and Dodecanese islands.
Meanwhile, arrivals to Crete by ferry dropped by 13.4 percent as holidaymakers opted to travel to the island via the increased flights offered by low cost carriers during the summer.
On a whole, the Greek domestic ferry market saw a three percent drop in passenger traffic during the January-August period.
Arrivals to Greece by ferry from Italy were down by 9.7 percent in August and 9.2 percent during the first eight months of the year.