The Guardian: Greece to receive 30 million tourists!

3 July 2017
231 Views

Greece is expected to receive almost 10 times its population in holidaymakers for 2017, according to Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura, who addressed the Panhellenic Exporters’ Association last week. British media outlet “The Guardian” focused on the boom in tourism, which is the debt-stricken country’s life jacket in the years of the economic crisis.

From the Guardian:

Up high, above the hills of Arcadia, historic Dimitsana is on a roll. Its hotels are brimming, its cafes are full, and its footpaths and monasteries lure busloads of tourists decanted daily from other parts of the Peloponnese.
Either side of the main road that splits the mountain village – in a world far removed from talk of emergency bailout funds, international stewardship and gruelling austerity – Greeks are hard at work, running boutique guesthouses, eateries and bars in the stone mansions that line Dimitsana’s cobbled streets.

“Business is very good,” says Labis Baxevanos, the village’s deputy mayor, who owns a patisserie along the strip. “So good that a lot of younger couples have come to work here since the country’s economic crisis began.”
Debt-stricken Greece is braced for a record-breaking 30m holidaymakers this year, almost three times its population. Addressing the Panhellenic Exporters Association last week, the tourism minister Elena Kountoura said that between January and May there had been a noticeable increase in arrivals, revenues and occupancy rates with summer bookings in some areas rising by as much as 70%. Travel receipts grew by 2.4% or €23m (£20m).
After eight years of grinding austerity, the influx is a tangible gift, on a par with the €8.5bn financial lifeline thrown Greece earlier this month to once again avert default.

Dimitsana – once famous for the gunpowder mills that produced the firepower in the nation’s 1821 war of independence against Ottoman rule – is emblematic of the entrepreneurial spirit taking root as a result of the boom. “Tourism is our lifejacket,” says Theonimfi Koraki, who opened a boutique hotel in the village last summer. “The aim now is diversity and drawing out the season all year round. Here in Arcadia the creation of the 75km-long Menalon [walking] trail has been hugely successful for example with foreign tourists. It has greatly helped the development of the region.”

With the exception of shipping, tourism is Greece’s biggest foreign earner, the mainstay of an economy that has otherwise contracted by 27% since late 2009 when the country’s debt crisis began.
The industry accounted for eight out of 10 new jobs in 2016, vital for a nation hit by crippling levels of unemployment. Bank of Greece figures show around 23.5 million tourists visited in 2015, generating €14.2bn of revenues, or 24% of gross domestic product. Last year, the country’s tourism confederation, SETE, announced arrivals of 27.5 million, an all-time high.

You may be interested

Greece & Australia both tangled in mining investment conundrums
GREECE
shares97 views
GREECE
shares97 views

Greece & Australia both tangled in mining investment conundrums

makis - Sep 22, 2017

An interesting article from Australia about mining activities there and the similarities with our case: Every time I read an…

The Albanian “velvet ethnic cleansing” of the Greeks of Northern Epirus at the OSCE
WORLD
shares89 views
WORLD
shares89 views

The Albanian “velvet ethnic cleansing” of the Greeks of Northern Epirus at the OSCE

makis - Sep 22, 2017

The “National Association of Northern Epirus 1914” participated for the third consecutive year at the Annual Conference of the Office…

Dimitris Giannakopoulos for PAO: I cannot do anything else for club
GREECE
shares93 views
GREECE
shares93 views

Dimitris Giannakopoulos for PAO: I cannot do anything else for club

makis - Sep 22, 2017

The fate of the football club of Panathinaikos is hanging in the balance, after major shareholder of the basketball team…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.