Air arrivals post 5 pct drop in year?s first half

Data released on Monday by the Research Institute for Tourism (ITEP) showed a 4.9 percent decline in arrivals of foreign tourists by air in the first six months of the year, compared with the same period last year.

Air arrivals from abroad in the year to June 30 amounted to 4,100,881, down from 4,310,650 in the first six months of 2011.

The decline is mostly attributed to the 15 percent drop in arrivals at Athens International Airport, as when these figures are excluded the decline amounts to no more than just 0.7 percent.

The biggest drop was at Mytilini airport, on Lesvos, (down 21.5 percent), while the greatest rise was seen at the airport of Araxos in the Peloponnese (up 59.8 percent).

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