Greek Visas Issued to Russian Tourists Increase 32%
The 90,000 Greek visas issued to Russian tourists in May represents a 32% increase from the same period last year, according to the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, which claims that the coming year overall should see a large increase in Russian tourists.
Russian chief of the Federal Tourism Agency Oleg Safonov explained that after a series of meetings between tourism officials from the two countries that he expects Greece to improve visa services, and is ready to support them. In the past Greece has been issuing about 5-6,000 visas daily, but will be able to handle up to 10,000 after improvements are in place.
Nikos Xydakis, Greek Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs says that he has been instructed Prime Minister Alexi Tsipras to remove all obstacles to the process of issuing visas to Russians, and has increased the staff at its consular services in Russia to 55 employees. This issue was discussed during the recent Greco-Russian conference in Athens on May 11th. Total Russian tourists could top 1 million this year.