Home Travel & Adventure Kosovar Tourists Boost Greek Economy: Spending Hits €1 Million Every Weekend Post-Visa...

Kosovar Tourists Boost Greek Economy: Spending Hits €1 Million Every Weekend Post-Visa Liberalization


In the three-month period of visa-free travel, Greece has become the favourite destination for Kosovar nationals, whose expenditure levels for weekends to the EU country are surpassing €1 million.

According to a study by the Alliance of Kosovo Businesses, the most common destinations for Kosovars are the same as those that were traditionally visited in the 90ies, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

In a press release, the authority pointed out that Greece has emerged as a favourite destination, especially after January, which marks the beginning of visa liberalisation.

On average, in the past weeks, over 2,500 visitors have travelled to Thessaloniki and other destinations in Greece every weekend. They are spending over €1 million on average for consumption, car insurance, and purchases.

Alliance of Kosovo Businesses

Thessaloniki Becoming a Go-To Destination for Kosovars Was Long Anticipated

Warning that diaspora visits to Kosovo would drop significantly, as they have, Ruzhdi Kurtishaj, the Chairperson of the Tourism Association at Kosovo Economic Chamber, said in an interview for SchengenVisaInfo that Thessaloniki would become a popular destination.

Thessaloniki is rising in popularity, mainly due to its geographical proximity and reasonable prices.

Ruzhdi Kurtishaj, Chairperson of the Tourism Association at the Kosovo Economic Chamber

Kurtishaj, who is also the CEO of Sharr Travel, a travel agency in Kosovo, pointed out that operators are receiving inquiries for other destinations, including Budapest (Hungary), Vienna (Austria), and Prague (Czechia), while Sofia (Bulgaria) alongside Greek destinations are expected to be most-sought for the summer season.

A study by SchengenVisaInfo revealed that Kosovars’s interest in visiting the EU was high, especially in December – one month before the visa waiver agreement entered into force, with the results showing that four out of five Kosovars or 80 per cent, had travel plans for 2024.

22% Increase in Air Traffic Reflects Kosovars’ Travel Excitement

In general, the interest in visiting the EU among Kosovars has been noticeable during the beginning of the year, with Prishtina International Airport revealing that air traffic was up by 22 per cent in January alone.

A total of 287,205 passengers were welcomed during this time, in addition to raising the number of flights operated from 808 to 996.

Regarding the increased number of passengers, Valentina Gara, Head of PR at Limak International Kosovo Airport, said for SchengenVisaInfo that new destinations were included in the hub’s itinerary, such as Luxembourg, Riga, Heraklion, Halmstag, and Turkiye’s Izmir.

The excitement to travel to the EU is also reflected in the number of applications for passports, which in 2024 has soared, as the Kosovo Interior Ministry has revealed.

Starting on January 1, the demand for obtaining essential travel-related documents has surged, especially for passports.

Kosovo Interior Ministry

According to data from the Civil Registration Agency, nearly 39,000 applications for obtaining passports were submitted to the authorities as of January 3, 2024.

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