BUSINESS

More growth in tourism from China

By Stathis Kousounis

Greece is among the main emerging destinations for Chinese tourists, the latest report by Union Pay International has found, including this country among those with an annual growth rate of about 200 percent in arrivals from the Asian nation in the last three years.

Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data have shown a 132.1 percent increase in the number of Chinese tourists visiting Greece in 2013 compared with the previous year, reaching 28,328. In fact the Association of Hellenic Tourism Enterprises (SETE) estimates that the number of Chinese tourist who visit the country and combine it with other destinations abroad is over three times higher.

This year the numbers are expected to soar further, while the Tourism Ministry recently announced the start of direct flights between Shanghai and Athens from June 15. The service will run until October 19. The packages offered will concern visits to the capital as well as to Santorini, Myconos and Meteora. Santorini is after all one of the most popular wedding spots for Chinese couples.

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