In 2018 tour operators have provided 80% of Russian tourist traffic to Greece
By the results of 2018, Greece hosted a record number of foreign tourists. The Russian market showed a good result - it is on the 6-th position in the TOP-10 key source markets of Greece.
The past year ended with a new historical record for Greek tourism: Greece was visited by 33 million foreign visitors, which brought for the country's economy more than 16 billion Euros of income. In an interview with local media, the Minister of Tourism Elena Kuntura highlighted the huge contribution of tourism to the Greek economy. According to her, the growth of tourist arrivals has already stimulated a revival in such sectors as trade, construction, real estate market.
According to Ms. Kuntur, among the tasks of Greece for 2019 is maintaining the growth rate of inbound tourism, promoting Greece as a year-round destination and active cooperation with foreign partners on key markets.
Russia is one of these key markets. Greece is consistently in the TOP5 summer beach destinations for Russian tourists in summer seasons. And as the statistics of Greek airports show, more and more Russians are starting to travel to the regions of the mainland in the summer, including Athenian Riviera, Evia, Cyclades and Peloponnese. The demand for sightseeing and cultural tourism, pilgrim tours, event tourism and shopping also increased.
According to the Greek National Tourist Organization (GNTO), by the results of 2018 the growth of Russian passenger traffic to Athens airport amounted 45%, reaching almost 150 thousand people.
In total in 2018, according to GNTO, more than 850 thousand citizens of the Russian Federation arrived by air in Greece, which exceeded the results of 2017 by 1%. Air transport remains the main way for the Russians traveling to Greek cities.
Traditionally, the largest volumes of Russian arrivals (more than 700 thousand) are the share of regional airports, where the Russian tourists arrive in the summer season mainly as part of the charter programs of Russian tour operators. This means that about 80% of all Russian tourists arrived Greece in 2018 through tour operators, having purchased package tours with transportation or ground service from them.