Greece expecting record tourist numbers

Greece expecting record tourist numbers

Greece is braced to receive a record 17 million tourists this year, with a surge in arrivals from Russia, Germany and the UK.

They are leading the revival of an industry that only last year appeared on its knees and prompted an appeal to the country by prime minister Antonis Samaras.

"We will have at least 17 million tourists this year. This development is a vote of confidence in our country. It [means] liquidity, money for the market and new, healthy places of work," he said, according to a report in the Guardian.

"I appeal to every citizen for the good of the country to help so as to put on our best face to foreigners."

Industry figures, based on hotel bookings and airline capacity, project more than 1 million additional tourists this summer.

Arrivals from Russia alone are expected to increase by a third to more than 1.2 million.

The rebound in projected visitor numbers has been attributed to an array of factors, ranging from political stability to turmoil in the Middle East.

John Retsos, president of the Hellenic hotel federation, which represents 7,000 hoteliers in Greece, reportedly said: "I think the increase is indicative of the leading role tourism will have in the recovery of our economy.

"The climate, this year, is much better. Greece's efforts [at fiscal consolidation] have been acknowledged by our EU partners and without compromising quality hoteliers have lowered prices significantly and that means great value for money."

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