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 >  Greek holidays  >  Bumper year for Greek visitors

Another bumper year for holidays in Greece

- by Andy Cornish

It's another record year for Greek Island holidays as official figures confirm expectations of more visitors than ever in 2015.

Latest figures show holiday arrivals in Greece up 7.1% last year to hit an all-time high of 23.6 million.

British holidaymakers helped push up the numbers with a 14.7% rise to almost 2.4 million.

Greek holidays also proved more popular with US tourists where a favourable exchange rate with the euro helped push visitors up nearly 27% to top 750,000.

German tourists were also back in force with a 14.3% rise to top 2.8 million. It all helped to offset the 59% slump in Russian tourists who were hit hard by a fall in the rouble and the collapse of several travel agencies.

Visitors helped pump much-needed cash into the ailing economy last year with tourism takings estimated at €14.2 billion a hike of 6 percent on 2014.

US holidaymakers were the biggest spenders with a 44.4% rise to a record €945.6 million while British holiday spending topped €2 billion, a 30.5 % increase on 2014.

Final figures were helped by a surge in holiday visitors In December 2015 which saw a 12.2% increase in tourism revenues, even though tourism arrivals dropped 9.3% from the previous year.

The Bank of Greece says tourism brought in a surplus of €12.17 billion last year, rising 7.5% on 2014 giving a welcome boost to the Greek economy.

Early reports suggest the tourism year in Greece has got off to another good start this year.

Islands troubled by an influx of refugees, such as Kos and Rhodes, have suffered a drop in Greek holiday bookings so far this year, but this has been more than offset by rises on other popular Greek islands such as Corfu and Santorini.