TOURISM CATASTROPHE HITS EUROPE

Tourism in Greece and Turkey has been ravaged by the refugee crisis and deadly terrorist attacks, damaging a crucial source of revenue in both countries.

This summer, the tourism industries of both countries have been put under enormous pressure. According to Turkey’s ministry of tourism data, approximately 41% less tourists visited the country compared to the same month last year.

After terrorist attacks in Ankara and Istanbul, June arrivals hit 2.5 million. In the same month last year the number was more than 4.1 million.

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The ministry noted a remarkable decrease of tourists from Germany and Russia. Arrivals from Germany in June fell by almost 38%, while visits from Russia dropped by 93.1%.

Following the downing of the Russian jet at the Syria-Turkey border on 24 November 2015, relations between Moscow and Ankara deteriorated with Vladimir Putin taking retaliation measures.

Russia’s security concerns for its citizens have since been satisfactorily met in Turkey and Egypt.  High spending Russian tourists are now restoring the prosperity of resorts that once contributed greatly to each country’s tax revenues.

Greek tourism has also been devastated since German Chancellor Angela Merkel notoriously flung open Europe’s doors, Greece being a transitory country.

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Christiana Kalogirou, regional governor of the North Aegean, told euractiv.com that the immigration crisis had seriously affected tourism in the region, with the island of Lesvos seeing a 68% drop in visitors compared to 2015.

According to latest data tourist arrivals to the north Aegean Sea’s islands has dropped by 70%. Mytilene’s airport services published figures show a 62.8% decrease in foreign passengers in Lesvos in July.

Refugees block Greek immigration minister from camp

Refugees block Greek immigration minister from camp

6,841 European tourists on 47 international flights landed on the island of Lesvos in July. In the same month last year, 18,373 people landed with 130 flights. Similarly, in the island of Chios in July 535 visits on 18 flights were recorded. Last July the number was 1,887, a 71.65% decrease.

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