Battle to win tourists from Russia gets under way

Battle to win tourists from Russia gets under way

The advance of the ruble against the euro, which has come to about 30 percent in the last year, constitutes the main factor behind the forecast increase in arrivals and revenues from Russia in 2017, according to the head of the Greek Tourism Confederation, Andreas Andreadis.

As the major MITT tourism fair opens on Tuesday in Moscow, he anticipates that visitors from Russia to Greece could reach up to 1 million this year, while revenues from Russian tourists could improve 25 percent on last year.

In 2016 Russia was the only one of Greece’s main tourism markets to record a revenue increase, to 435.8 million euros from 421.3 million in 2015. In 2014 that figure had come to 1.15 billion euros, with 1.25 million Russian visitors. Arrivals dropped to 513,000 in 2015 before increasing to 595,000 last year.

This year competition for Russian tourists will be greater than in 2016, as Turkey expects to tap a far greater number this year. In January Russian tourists to Turkey grew 81.5 percent from a year earlier, according to official figures. This has in part been put down to the thaw in Russian-Turkish relations.