International tourist arrivals on the island of Chios tumbled 71.6 percent in July compared to the same month of 2015, a decline which is widely attributed to last year’s refugee crisis, the local airport said in a press release on Thursday.
According to the data, arrivals from abroad totaled 535 last month which corresponds to 18 flights, versus 1,887 tourists and 50 flights last year.
On Wednesday, the airport of Lesvos announced a 62.8 percent drop in international arrivals in July, which corresponded to 6,841 visiting European nationals who arrived on 47 flights. Last year, the same numbers were 18,373 and 130 respectively. Samos, the third large island in the southeastern Aegean and part of the Dodecanese cluster, experienced a lower 16 percent drop in international tourist arrivals from Europe.
Both Chios and Lesvos – and Samos to a lesser extent – were at the center of an unprecedented refugee influx which erupted last summer in Greece when both islands received hundreds of refugees daily, arriving in flimsy boats from Turkey.
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