Greek tourism revenues up 17.8% in H1 of 2013 amid big rise in Russian spending

Revenues from tourism in Greece reached 3.3 billion euros in the first half of this year, up by 17.8 percent on 2012.

According to Bank of Greece data, Russian visitors accounted for the biggest rise. They spent almost 341 million euros, which was up 42 percent on the same period last year.

The next biggest increase was among French tourists (30.7 percent), followed by visitors from the US (25.4 percent) and Germany (17.8 percent).

The Germans were the biggest spenders with a total of 541 million euros.

For June alone, there was a 20.6 percent year-on-year increase overall in tourism revenues. They reached 1.6 billion euros.

Greece is hoping that a record year for tourism, with some 17 million visitors expected, will help ease the recession.