BUSINESS

Tourist road arrivals head for new record

By Stathis Kousounis

Greek tourism arrivals by road are expected to surpass the 5-million mark for the first time ever this year, according to industry data.

The data indicate that by the year’s end, one in four tourists will have entered Greece by road. Research conducted by Kathimerini into how this ratio compares with other rival tourism destinations put Greece at the top of the drive-in tourism list as a percentage of total arrivals.

Figures for Spain showed that one in six tourists from abroad entered the country by road, while data on the Turkish tourism market indicated that one in five did so.

The figures on Greece showed that drive-in tourism in 2013 increased by 28.8 percent year-on-year, almost double the increase of total arrivals from abroad. A total of 4.8 million foreign tourism arrivals by road were registered in 2013, when total arrivals totaled 20.1 million.

Greece’s tourism industry in the north seems to be benefiting most from the current year’s increased drive-in tourism flow, stemming from Turkey, Bulgaria, and other Balkan countries.

The state appears to have remained aloof to this increase registered over the past couple of years. Peak-season queues at border checkpoints have been excessively long.

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