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Bumper summer for Greece

- by Archimedes

Bumper summer for Greek holidays.

It's been a bumper summer for Greek Islands holidays despite civil unrest and strikes on the Greek mainland.

Travel experts report record numbers taking holiday in the Greek Islands in 2011 with forecasts of a 10% rise on 2010 visitors.

Greek holiday islands such as Rhodes, Kos, Crete and Corfu have led the way as tourist leaders predict visitors numbers will top 21 million in 2011.

Arrivals at airports on Rhodes and Corfu rose 14% in September compared to 2010, Chania Airport on Crete saw a 12.8% rise while Corfu posted a 12% increase in visitors.

Five Greek island airports had more than 1 million arrivals last month, adding over 100,000 on September 2010 figures.

Record arrivals by air takes the 2011 total so far to more than 16.5 million. This number rises to 21 million when cruise and ferry figures are included.

Greek tourism experts calculate that tourist revenues will exceed €11 billion in 2011, up from €9.5 billion in 2010).

Attracting investment in new tourism infrastructure and opening up new markets are the main points of a plan unveiled by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Tourism this week.

Minister of Culture and Tourism, Paul Geroulanos, told a meeting of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises (SETE) that specific areas of investment will be aimed at growth in cruise and marine tourism with support for specific forms of tourism such as rural tourism, health and spa tourism and diving tourism.

Mr Geroulanos said: 'Our first priority is to build tourism and momentum gained to bring more investment in Greece in order to attract more visitors.'