The performance of the Greek tourism industry in the first half of 2016 may have been sluggish but rising tides of last-minute bookings in July has raised hopes.
“During the first half of the year we had an increase in air arrivals of around five percent, but also a significant drop in road arrivals around seven percent. The balance was zero and slightly negative”, the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Andreas Andreadis said during a radio interview on Thursday.
“July showed a much better picture, as it is the first month that road arrivals showed an increase of one percent, while air arrivals moved somewhat better than expected, with growth at around eight to ten percent”, he added.
According to data published by Greek daily Kathimerini, the increase of last-minute bookings in July has lead to a double-digit rise in arrival numbers at the airports of Athens, Heraklion and Corfu.
Arrivals last month at Heraklion on Crete were up by 12 percent compared to the same month last year. Corfu saw a 13.5 percent increase in international tourists with the most arrivals coming from Italy (26,9 percent), Germany (22,2 percent) and France (19,6 percent).
In addition, Rhodes was said to have seen a 10.6 percent rise in arrivals last month.
According to a study released by the Institute of the Greek Tourism Confederation (InSETE) on Thursday, international tourist arrivals to Greece this year are expected to increase by 6 percent (over 25 million) and generate expenditure of 14.55 billion euros, an increase of 6.4 percent.