Turk­ish tourists to ex­ceed 1 mil­lion in 2017

Kathimerini English - - Focus - STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

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.

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