ECONOMY

Arrivals up 4.6 pct in first quarter

Arrivals of non-residents from abroad increased by 4.6 percent in the January-March 2013 period, compared with the same period last year, the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) said on Tuesday, citing a border statistical survey conducted by the Bank of Greece that found the biggest increase in arrivals to be from Asia.

Total arrivals of non-residents in the first quarter of 2013 reached 1,023,354.

Arrivals from Europe, which account for the majority of arrivals of non-residents to Greece (78.9 percent), registered a decrease of 2.6 percent in the first quarter of the year, with those from European Union member states dipping by 3.3 percent.

Arrivals from Bulgaria, Spain, Russia and Germany showed a significant increase in absolute values, though a significant decrease of arrivals, in absolute values, was observed from the United Kingdom, Cyprus, Netherlands and Belgium. The largest number of arrivals from Europe came from Bulgaria (14.6 percent), Albania (12.5 percent), Germany (8.1 percent), Cyprus (5.9 percent), the United Kingdom (4.5 percent) and Italy (4.2 percent).

On a worldwide level the biggest increase in arrivals came from Asia (10.2 percent up from 2012), with a large contribution from Turkey (81.9 percent up from 2012), ELSTAT said.

The main points of entry that account for the biggest percentage of traffic, by road, are Promahonas (8 percent) and Evzoni (7.3 percent) on the northern Greek border.

Athens International Airport saw the most arrivals by air (33.1 percent), followed by Thessaloniki’s Macedonia airport (8.3 percent).