If Greece does not reach the target of issuing 7,000 visas on a daily basis for the Russians then it will not see increased arrival numbers from that market, according to the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis.
Speaking to the Greek press on Friday, Mr Andreadis said that the goal of issuing 7,000 visas a day for Russians must be achieved by the end of the month, or else the prospect of growth of arrivals from Russia will be lost which will result to a huge loss of revenue for the tourism industry and hence the Greek economy.
“The Foreign Ministry, by Deputy Minister Nikos Xydakis, has assured that the procedure will normalize and the target of issuing 7,000 visas a day will rise from the current 2,000 by the end of May”, Mr. Andreadis said.
According to the tourism ministry, Greece welcomes one million Russian visitors annually. Although the country recorded a slight decline of Russian tourists in 2015, it has been estimated that the country will see a 20 percent increase this year.
As it is underlined in press reports, Russian tourists have Greece at the top of their travel bucket list for summer vacations, especially after the crisis with Turkey and the Russian aircraft crash in Egypt that was attributed to a jihadist terrorist attack. The Russians are attracted to Greece’s natural beauty, its religious tourism options and entertainment. However, the intense and prolonged problems with issuing visas have caused Russian citizens to have a bad impression in regards to the process.