By Mehmet Hatipoglu
KOMOTINI, Greece (AA) - Turkish tourists were the highest spending foreign tourists in the Greek border regions of East Macedonia and Thrace in the first three quarters of 2019, according to the Bank of Greece data.
From the start of the year until October 2019, around 700,000 Turkish tourists visited the region and spent €136.8 million ($151 million), which makes €195 per capita.
Bulgarian tourists were second on the list of spending with a total of €117 million, even though the Bulgarian tourist number was 3.5 times higher than the Turks, more than 2.5 million. The per capita spending of Bulgarian tourists was €43.5.
Romanian and German tourists took the third and fourth place respectively on the number of foreign tourists visiting the region.
Turkish tourists need a Schengen visa to visit the region, while the Bulgarians, Romanians and Germans do not.
However, Greece's East Macedonia and Thrace region is not far from Turkey's largest city, Istanbul, which even makes a day-trip from the mega city to the region possible.
* Contribution and writing by Fatih Hafiz Mehmet in Ankara