Alternate Foreign Minister Nikos Xydakis is promoting the speedier issue of visas by Greek consular services in the 10 most important markets for Greek tourism where such paperwork is required.
This follows the improvement in the time taken for visas to be issued this year in Russia, with the use of biometric data.
Sources say that the number of visas issued by the Greek consular services in Russia in September jumped 140 percent to reach 57,270 against around 24,000 in the same month last year. Also, for the first nine months of the year, the number of visas grew 22 percent to exceed 504,000, resulting in a notable rise in Russian visitors to Greece this year.
The increase in visas issued to Russians last month generates optimism for an increase in visitors from Russia this and even next month.
Kathimerini understands that Xydakis conducted two meetings last month with consulate directors, issuing guidelines for the operation of visa-issuing offices abroad.
The minister is said to believe that the Foreign Ministry must do all it can to support the country’s tourism growth and its national economy, thereby becoming a major supporter of Greece’s main industry.