Bat­tle to win tourists from Rus­sia gets un­der way

Kathimerini English - - Focus - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

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 to­day 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 Rus­sianTurk­ish re­la­tions.

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