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Greek Island tourist visitors soar

- by Dabs Banner

Greek Island tourist visitors soar.

Greece is set to welcome more than 17 million visitors on Greek Island holidays this year, according to latest estimates. Forecasts are based on a sharp rise in tourist visitors in the five months to May which shows a 6.5% rise in holiday arrivals on air charter flights compared to last year.

Data from the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, shows 2,441,276 tourists arrived on holiday from January to May compared to 2,302,107 in the same period last year.

The biggest holiday surge has been on the Cycladic island of Mykonos where tourism officials report a staggering 125% rise this year with 15,172 visitors compared to 6,720 last year.

Other islands may not have hit such high tourist rates but many are reporting a double digit rise for 2013. Zante reports a 32% rise in numbers, with other high rise islands include Kefalonia (29.5%), Chania in West Crete (26.3%), Corfu (23.9%), Santorini (22.7%), Kos (20.2%) and Skiathos (18.3%).

Holiday visitors to Rhodes also rose sharply by 21.7%, notably in the first two weeks of June when 140,870 tourists arrived on charter flights compared to 123,065 in the same period last year.

Crete is still the most popular island with 576,600 visitors although this is only a slight increase (0.21%) on last year. Rhodes is second with 269,585 visitors and Corfu third with 136,739.

Tourism leaders are confident Greece can top the 17 million mark this year if the growth in holiday arrivals continues over the summer.