Dimitris Haritidis denies officials’ views on the contribution of Russian tourists to the Greek economy
Resonant performance Dmitry Chernyshenko at the presentation on Friday, April 29, discussed in the travel community. Opinion leaders drew attention to the fact that the deputy chairman of the government in his speech repeatedly opposed outbound tourism and domestic tourism. TEZ TOUR Greece Managing Director Dimitris Haritidis commented on one of his points:
“For 10 years, our citizens have spent more than $ 250 billion on vacations abroad. For this money, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt were rebuilt.
I read Mr. Chernyshenko’s report very carefully and I cannot but comment on some facts. Unambiguously, each state should develop inbound and domestic tourism, but this should be done in such a way that people want to travel around their country, so that prices and services are competitive, so that people have a choice, so that they themselves decide where they want to go on vacation. So that vacation in Russia is considered as a good alternative to vacation abroad. Now, due to the epidemic, Russia has such a chance, but there is no need to artificially drive people into a cage, they themselves must decide where they want to go. Naturally, decisions should be made based on the epidemiological situation. Now I see that a huge number of accommodation facilities in the Russian Federation are simply using the situation incorrectly and profiting from it.
As for inbound tourism in the Russian Federation, it is necessary to make such a product so that foreigners have an interest in traveling to Russia and it would be easy for them to do it. But until now, getting a Russian visa is a huge headache.
Now about the fact that the Greeks allegedly built hotels with the money of Russian tourists. According to him, over 10 years, Russians have spent $ 250 billion on trips abroad, and with this money they have built hotels in Turkey, Greece and Egypt. I want to give Mr. Chernyshenko the official statistics of the Bank of Greece: from 2011 to 2020, Greece’s tourism revenues from the Russian market amounted to 6.245 billion euros (about 7.5 billion dollars), which means that only 3% of the declared amount was spent on trips to Greece from Russia. In 2019, the share of Russian tourists’ contribution to Greece was 433.4 million euros, while Greece’s tourism revenue from other strategic markets was approximately 18.2 billion euros. Thus, the contribution of the Russian tourist flow to Greek tourism was only 2.38%.
Upon the arrival of Russians in 2019, the Bank of Greece gives a figure of 611,000 people (Russian migration services give a figure of 750,000 tourists, tour operators – 850,000), and in total Greece received about 30,000,000 tourists in 2019. It turns out that the share of Russians in tourism in Greece was about 2%.
Alas, at the moment the Russian market is not the key one for Greece! Yes, we really want to increase the tourist flows of Russians to the country and consider guests from Russia very important, but as you can see from the numbers, so far the tourist flow does not allow building many hotels with this money.
I sincerely wish that the Russians would like first of all to have a rest in their country, but there is no need to do it artificially, just create the conditions: Russia + Greece = friendship forever))) I congratulate all Orthodox Christians on the upcoming holiday of Great Easter! ”