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Russian Tourist Numbers to Greece Up More Than 500 Percent

The number of Russian tourists visiting Greece has skyrocketed by more than 500 percent, the Russian Tour Operators Association announced Friday.

A total of 10,000 Russian travelers moved to visit Greece in March, up 523.6 percent on the previous year, the group said in a statement. Between January and April, 20,000 Russians visited Greece, a 135 percent rise on 2015.

Russians spent almost 8 million euro ($8.9 million) in Greece during the month of March, a 180 percent increase on last year.

In late April, the Russian Tourism Industry Union reported that the Greek Consulate in Moscow was overwhelmed with visa applications submitted by Russians wanting to travel to Greece for the May holidays.

The increased interest in Greece comes amid Moscow's ban on flights to Turkey and Egypt, both once popular Russian tourist destinations.

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