The number of foreign tourists who visited the country in the first half of 2016 reached 7,446,222, down 119,475 or 1.6 pct compared with the corresponding period last year, a trend that was reversed in the following months according to estimates by tourism officials.
Hellenic Statistical Authority in a report released on Thursday, based on figures gathered by the Bank of Greece, said that tourist arrivals from Europe -which accounts for the biggest part of arrivals (86.5 pct)- fell 1.2 pct in the January-June period, while arrivals from EU member-states grew 0.9 pct. Arrivals from FYROM fell 27.7 pct, from Bulgaria declined by 10.5 pct and France were down 20.6 pct. On the other hand, arrivals grew significantly from the UK (13.1 pct), Albania (41.6 pct) and Romania (19.4 pct). Asian visitors were down reflecting a 29.2 pct decline in arrivals from Turkey, while arrivals from Oceania were down 1.3 pct. Tourist arrivals from the US were up 1.5 pct, while from African arrivals were up 24.7 pct.
Among European countries, the UK ranked first with a market share of arrivals of 12.5 pct, followed by Germany (11.9 pct), Bulgaria (11.2 pct), FYROM (7.7 pct) and France (4.9 pct).
The majority of arrivals were made via air and road. The Athens airport was top with a share of 24.1 pct of
arrivals, followed by Heraklion airport (10.2 pct), Rhodes (6.7 pct) and Thessaloniki (5.2 pct).