ECONOMY

From Russia with love

Russian tourists visiting Greece this year are set to increase by a considerable 30 to 40 percent compared to 2011, the general director of the Thessaloniki Tourism Organization, Nikos Sapountzis, told a Greek-Russian economic forum in the Macedonian city on Tuesday.

Sapountzis added that data collected by the Greek Embassy in Moscow, the Greek National Tourism Organization and visa centers show a 19 percent annual increase in visas issued.

Representatives of a business mission from St Petersburg said Greece could become the top destination for Russians if obstacles such as the visa requirement are overcome.

“One hundred million Russians are ready to visit Greece,» said Sergey Fedorov, board member of the St Petersburg Chamber of Commerce and Industry.