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Tourism Breathing Life into Greek Economy, Alpha Bank Says

tourists_monastiraki_IMG_0347Tourism is picking up pace and breathing life into the Greek economy according to the latest weekly report by Alpha Bank.

The report found that tourism has gotten back on track thanks to last-minute bookings which saw an increase in the number of tourist arrivals at the country’s main airports.

Incoming traffic to Greece’s main airports grew significantly in July and in the first seven months of 2016 by 9.1 percent and 8.2 percent respectively year-on-year. For the first seven months of 2016, the number of visitors came to 9.21 million compared to 8.66 million last year.

Meanwhile, the drop in international arrivals to Kos, down by 13.0 percent, Samos, decreased by 16.3 percent, and to Lesvos, shrinking by 62 percent, due to the ongoing refugee influx there was balanced out by increased tourist flows through the airports of Crete, up by 12.8 percent, the Ionian islands growing by 13.3 percent, and the Cyclades up by 8.7 percent.

Together with the significant increase in manufacturing output in the first half 2016 (by 4.3 percent), tourism further stimulated employment in the coming months. According to Hellenic Statistical Authority data, employment increased by 1.7 percent year-on-year in May 2016.

The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), meanwhile, is expecting tourist arrivals for 2016 to reach 25 million against 23.6 million in 2015, marking a 6 percent rise.

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