Pavlos and his Mother-in-Law

By | Category: Travel destinations

Greece with no demonstrators

Given the current coverage of Greece in the media, a success in Greece would hardly be reported. Yet Greece has been one of the big tourist success stories of the year.
Despite strikes – more than we would normally expect – Greek hoteliers and attractions have cut prices and offered great deals to encourage tour operators to book more holidays there. And we have responded by visiting it in much larger numbers than last year. Will this trend continue into 2012?
Now our contribution to Greece (and that from all other visitors) means that tourism contributes 15% of the Greek national GDP. This year they had all-time high number of arrivals which also contributed an all-time high in revenue as well. Some may have been due to the fact that the Greek government cut the amount of VAT. This was such a contrast to 2009 when the number of visitors from Germany and the UK – its two main sources of visitors – both dipped.
But this success hasn’t been mentioned in the main media which has been fixated by showing the difficulties of the country. Such would be the claim of the Greek culture and tourism minister, Pavlos Yeroulanos . Having a wife who isn’t Greek has meant he has had to put up with a mother-in-law ringing up to see if the family was all right as press coverage suggested strikes, marches and disturbances were widespread. In all cases, he was able to reassure her that the troubles were not close. But that’s not what the media tells us so how much can we believe?
The Independent’s Simon Calder was even wheeled in on a video enthusiastically espousing Greece and saying he would be going there next summer. With Joanna Lumley having had her Greek TV travel series, there has been no shortage of TV coverage either. All of this might have persuaded more of us to go to – or return to – Greece.
That will continue so expect to see more advertising on posters, magazines, newspapers as the tourist board relies on traditional methods of advertising in 2012. They are even considering reducing landing fees so we might be able to consider cheaper holidays next year.

For more information see the Visit Greece website

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