250,000 divers from abroad expected to visit Greece by end of October 2011

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Taking advantage of 2005 legislation allowing recreational diving throughout Greece, with the exception of designated archaeological areas, local government administrations throughout Greece have launched a campaign to attract “diving tourists”. 

Some 250,000 divers from abroad, with their families, are expected to visit Greece through the end of October 2011; the number from June to date has already reached 115,000 divers, according to Society for the Protection and Promotion of the Submarine Environment and its Surroundings president George Tzanakis. 

Some 70 percent of the divers who have already visited Greece this year are from Germany, Russia, Spain, France and Italy, and the other 30 percent are from the U.S. 

According to Mr. Tzanakis, Greece was selected as the favored diving destination by 95 percent of a total of 7,500 divers who responded to questionnaires in the period 2006-2007. 

Greece earned this “title” for three main reasons cited by the respondents to the survey: “theme,” given that there are more than 20,000 shipwrecks in the Greek seabed, of which 6,000 have been formally recognised; “price,” as diving in Greece costs about one-third of that in other diving destinations such as Malta, Italy, Croatia, Turkey and Cyprus; and “family,” since the families of the divers are quite happy to accompany them to Greece, which offers a plethora of other activities for an enjoyable holiday 

Source: Balkans Business News [August 23, 2011]

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