Greek PM concerned about the lack of Russian tourists due to sanctions
Russian tourists preferred Turkey instead of Greece this summer, which was a price Greece paid for participating in the EU’s sanctions against Russia, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said, adding that “I'm sure we got it right."
Mitsotakis said his government did not support a ban from the EU on Russian tourists but beared the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
"As a tourism destination, we have experienced the consequences of joining all the sanctions with the EU. Because practically no one came to Greece from Russia this summer, almost all the Russians who wanted to travel went to Turkey," Mitsotakis said.
Many other tourism destinations in Europe also suffered due to the sanctions, Russia’s Tass news agency reported in September.
The tourist flow from Russia to Europe plunged by 90-95% during the summer season of 2022 compared with the same period in 2019, the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR).
"According to preliminary estimates, about 3.5 million Russians traveled abroad for the purpose of tourism and recreation in the three months of summer," a report by the ATOR said.
Compared to the summer of 2019, the market for organized outbound tourism in the summer of 2022 fell by at least 50% due to a general shortage of transportation, the closure of Cyprus and Greece, the lack of Caribbean destinations, the lack of flights to Turkey in June and July, and to Egypt in August. At the same time, several tour operators reported an increase in demand for summer trips abroad from 17% to 40%, in some cases the demand was even higher.
60% of Russian tourists preferred Turkey
Turkey (60% of total bookings), Abkhazia (23%), UAE (5%), Egypt (3%), and the Maldives (2%) were the most popular foreign vacation destinations in the summer of 2022.
According to preliminary estimates, over 2.1 mln tourists from Russia visited Turkey in June-August (1.9 mln in the summer of 2021). The average cost of a summer tour to Turkey from large tour operators almost doubled this summer compared to the summer of 2021 due to rising airfare prices, ranging from 175,000 rubles ($2,897) to 235,000 rubles ($3,891) for two, ATOR said.