Marketing Greece, the newly formed organisation that represents the private sector of the Greek tourism industry, has welcomed the news that the country experienced last month its best October of all time in terms of international arrivals.
According to the just released figures, international arrivals to the country’s airports in October 2013 jumped 21.52 per cent compared to 2012, from 697,227 to 847,247.
In total, from the beginning of the year international arrivals to the country have grown by 10.93 per cent, with 12,269,268 visitors coming to Greece from January to October 2013, compared to 11,059,895 during the same period last year.
Crete has had a phenomenal year, with Heraklion Airport seeing arrivals growing 17.82 per cent, to 2,485,841 tourists.
This is the largest number across all airports of the country, surpassing for the first time the airport of Athens.
With Chania Airport, where Ryanair opened its first Greek base earlier in the year, also reporting a significant increase (20.10 per cent), the tourism season in Crete has been extended and many resort hotels will now close at the end of November.
The data also shows that tourism to the Greek capital is recovering.
Following years of decline, international arrivals to the Athens International Airport in October increased by 13.24 per cent, while during the ten first months of the year the total of arrivals rose 1.26 per cent, to 2,357,670 visitors.
Marketing Greece general manager, Iossif Parsalis said: “More than 12 million visitors from all over the world have visited Greece so far this year, confirming that the country remains a world class destination on the international tourism map.
“A number of new flights have already been announced for next year and with year-on-year pre-bookings up by an average of ten per cent, we are confident that the upward trend is set to continue and even more tourists will holiday in Greece in 2014.”