This year tourists from Turkey are expected to exceed 1 million, according to Greece’s tourism authorities.
The latest Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) data show that the best year in terms of Turkish arrivals was 2015, when they amounted to 1.15 million. In the first half of 2016 there was a 30 percent contraction in visitors from the neighboring country, but this year points to an uptick in their numbers. Notably, from August 25 to September 2, as many as 117,000 Turks visited Greece by road. Turkish sources say that in that small period alone Turkish visitors spent over 120 million euros in Greece.
Among the main reasons Turkish citizens visit Greece is that they find good-value accommodation in relation to the services offered, while restaurants are also cheaper. Another incentive is that alcoholic drinks in Greece are much more affordable than in Turkey, as Ankara has hiked taxes on alcohol by up to 500 percent in recent years.
There is also a significant portion of Turks who like to travel to Greece to let their hair down and escape – if only for a short period of time – from the social pressure that the government of the neighboring country exercises on its citizens.