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More Brits opt for Greek Island holidays

Afionas beach Corfu

The Greek Islands are the second most popular holiday destination for Brits, according to a recent airline poll.

A survey of British airline travellers has found they still rate Spain the most popular for holiday breaks with more than a half opting to book holidays in the Spanish costas.

But the Greek Islands have taken the second place spot with more than 17% preferring to head off for the beaches and tavernas of Greece.

A survey into 2015 holiday plans of more than 2,000 UK holidaymakers by Monarch Airlines revealed that routes to the Greek Islands are growing more popular than ever.

A spokesman for Monarch Airlines said: "Spain's popularity amongst those looking for sun, sea and sangria is as strong as ever, and with Greece being the second most popular destination for 2015 it's no wonder that our new Greek routes are in high demand."

Meanwhile the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) has announced it's target four tourism numbers is to attract 25 million international arrivals in 2015, including 2.5 million cruise ship visitors.

It follows early indications that airline seat capacity to Greek airports this year has increased by one million compared to 2014.

According to SETE, the uncertainty caused by the election of a new left-wing Greek government and fears of a possible exit from the European Union is now in the past and Greece can press ahead with its tourism objectives.

But officials still warn that fiscal stability is vital to attracting more visitors on Greek Island holidays and that sudden rises in tax could create barriers to boosting visitor numbers.

The government is still considering whether to abolish the cut-rate VAT demands for hotels and other tourist enterprises and the special status afforded to some holiday islands that ensures they pay lower taxes.

The spokesman added: "Recent reports of a possible abolition of the reduced VAT on the islands and tourist accommodation could halt the dynamic growth of tourism if they are eventually confirmed."

SETE also called for new investment laws to be implemented to stimulate small and medium-sized enterprises that have in the past been held up by red tape and official paperwork.

According to latest figures revenue from tourism in 2014 accounted for 63% of the country's trade, with receipts amounting to €13.44 billion, a 10.6% rise on 2013

The Bank of Greece sID tourists from Germany, France and the UK spent the most when on holiday in the Greek Islands.

At the same time, holiday arrivals from the UK rose 13.2% last year while French visitors jumped 27% and German tourists by 8.5%.

According to the Monarch Airlines survey, the most popular months for travel by Brits are outside the school summer holidays, with almost half of those surveyed (45%) now planning to book a September break.

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