Greece sees surge of international arrivals in June

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Air traffic in Greece picked up strongly in June after the government eased coronavirus-related travel restrictions in May before the start of the key summer tourist season, civil aviation authority data showed on Thursday.

International arrivals jumped more than 13-fold in June to 1,181,771 from just 87,481 a year earlier, during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the data.

Greece, where about a fifth of economic output comes from tourism, suffered its most severe slump on record in 2020 as the coronavirus drastically curbed international travel, with arrivals down 75% from the previous year.

This year, as vaccination campaigns in Greece and many other countries have picked up, the government is expecting a 50% rise from the levels seen in 2019 when the country welcomed a record of more than 30 million tourists.

Overall traffic at Greek airports was still down 2.8% for the first six months of the year, the figures showed. 

Photo: A passenger of an international flight wearing a protective face mask arrives at the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens, Greece. EPA-EFE/YANNIS KOLESIDIS