Tourism arrivals in Jan-Sept 2013 rose by 15 pct

By Stathis Kousounis

The impressive course of Greek tourism last year has been officially confirmed by the international arrivals data for the first nine months of 2013 published on Thursday by the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

From January to September the number of foreign tourism arrivals grew by 15.2 percent, or about 2 million, from the same period in 2012 to reach 15.5 million, exceeding in just nine months the number of arrivals recorded in the whole of 2012 by a few thousands.

The data confirm the momentum seen in markets such as Russia and Turkey, which showed an increase of 49.4 percent (to 1.21 million) and 45 percent (to 676,000) respectively.

The other major markets to post an increase in tourism flow to Greece were France (16.9 percent), Italy (14 percent), Serbia (24 percent and the US (26.2 percent), while visitors from the emerging market of China grew by a spectacular 85 percent year-on-year.