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Greece international visitor numbers continue soaring

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Forecasts for the numbers of international tourist for 2018 show Greece is expected to enjoy another record breaking year. The forecasts show 32 million visitors will be packing their bags and jetting off to the Mediterranean nation for their hols in 2018.

Just 6.2 million foreign tourists arrived in Greece in 1998 so the predictions for this year represent a fivefold increase in only two decades. Visitor arrivals of 15 million for 2010 and a bumper 30 million last year also mean Greece is Europe's fastest growing holiday destination.

A key factor in Greece's burgeoning popularity is the holiday season has extended way beyond summer and it is now a year round destination. Other reasons Greece is flavour of the 21st century are the launch of low-cost direct flights from northern European cities to the nation's most popular islands.

The likes of easyJet and Ryanair fly straight to Crete's Heraklion and Rhodes airports from the UK. Although the flights are mostly summer season only, flying to Athens and then switching to an Aegean Airlines services to the islands is a possibility all year. The inauguration of trendier hotels has also played a part in attracting younger style conscious visitors to Greece.

In addition to compiling visitor numbers, the Greek Times released a list of the most visited islands during the summer season. The Top Five was no surprise as Santorini topped the table and was followed by Crete, Corfu, Rhodes and Mykonos respectively.