The head of Russia's Federal Tourism Agency, Oleg Safonov says Greece may became the leader in bookings from Russians, by the end of 2016. According to minister, the flow of tourist from Russia to Greece may exceed 1 million before year's end. Greece had previously been a top destination for Russian travelers, but the trend subsided during 2014 and 2015, due to tensions in between the west and east. Apparently those tensions are subsiding, especially where Greece and Russia are concerned.
Mr. Safonov Speaking to attendees to at the opening of the Greek-Russian tourism forum in Athens this morning, Safonov went on to say:
"Greece may become the most visited country for Russian tourists before this year is over. Already in May, the destination leads in bookings and sales for the summer period. We see this as a very positive trend. Back in 2013, we saw the maximum number of tourists reach 1.2 million people. Then unfortunately, 2014-2015 showed a downward spiral, which we hope will be reversed this year."
Russia and Greece have a history that goes back to ancient times where tourism and cultural exchance are concerned. The minister also mentioned this when adding that "Russians love Greece, and love to travel here". While seaside persuits top the list of Russian preferences, sightseeing and night life play a role along with the climate, according to the news. Also noted, were some 50 plus joint events to be held this year in between the nations. Meetings this week at the Greek-Russian Tourism Forum, will see Alternate Minister of Tourism, Elena Kountoura and Mr. Safonov working out other promotional activities for collaborations as well.