Tourist arrivals up 20.4 pct in 5 months

Tourist arrivals in Greece rose 20.4 percent in the first five months of the year, surpassing 4.5 million arrivals, Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura said on Friday in an interview with radio station “Sto Kokkino”.

She also said that the profits of hotels increased by more than 10 percent.

“Tourism is a force in every national economy, creating jobs and leading to development in other sectors as well, such as trade, restaurants and transport,” Kountoura noted.

Kountoura also referred to the increase in arrivals and income in less popular destinations. As she said, there was an increase of 150 percent in Western Greece, 58 percent in Epirus, 91 percent in east Macedonia-Thrace and 47 percent in Thessaly.

“Over the past three years, we have managed to support destinations that did not previously have a tourist-destination profile,” she concluded.

Commenting on the latest tension in Greek-Russian relations and how it will affect arrivals of Russian tourists, she said that geopolitical turbulence does not help tourism. “We seek stability and good bilateral relations,” she noted.

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