ECONOMY

Arrivals at island airports rose by over 20 pct in May

The number of foreign arrivals at five of the country’s regional airports on the some of the most popular islands posted an increase of 20.5 percent last month compared with May 2012.

Arrivals at Corfu, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Hania and Iraklio added up to 800,618 in May, compared with 664,372 in the same month in 2012. The airport to report the highest annual growth was that on Zakynthos, in the Ionian Sea, which saw arrivals soar by 33.5 percent, including a 20.4 percent rise in visitors from the UK. Hania enjoyed growth of 28 percent, Iraklio 26 percent and Corfu 19.5 percent, while Rhodes Airport posted a more moderate 8.1 percent increase in foreign holidaymakers.

The main common feature among the five airports was the huge rise in traffic from Russia, which soared by up to 230 percent on an annual basis.

Provisional data from the Greek Consulate in Moscow point to a 66 percent increase in the number of visas issued for visits to Greece in the year’s first five months compared with January-May 2012. Sources say that the consulate has introduced a second shift in the evenings for visa issuing in order to respond to the huge demand this year.