Senin, 21 Mei 2012

Greek Crisis Impact on Tourism

European society at this time to avoid a holiday to Greece in the summer, following concerns and instability triggered by the debt crisis that pose a severe blow to the economy that has devastated the country.

"Since the elections last May 6, we have experienced a 50 percent decrease in bookings," said George Drakopoulos, general director of the association of Greek tourism enterprises (AFTER).

Although tourists from Germany increased again this year, the number of bookings overall are still falling ahead of the summer season, said Drakopoulos.

"Many hotels make attractive offers, but it's not the important thing here. For many tourists who visit Greece, security issues become more important than the money."

In the 2011 season to benefit Greek tourism, following the rise of the riots in northern Africa.

According to AFTER, tourism is 15.7 percent of the Greek and employs 768 thousand people, either directly or indirectly.

Moriatis Panagiotis, president hotel owners association of Nafplion - a very popular tourist destination near the site of Bronze Age Mycenae - say that business this year have dropped by 15 percent.

Moriatis blame bad publicity: "Foreign media only describe the problems in Athens and shows nothing of the rest of Greece. Though the condition is not."

"Athens is a city that has experienced the largest decline in the number of tourists. Fewer visiting Turin to Athens affect other cities," added Moriatis.

Germany in particular is considered to avoid Greece in fear of retaliation by angry local residents during the two years of saving, making many Greeks blamed the German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"Last year we had a 10 percent increase in German tourists. This year we have a 25 to 30 percent. Travelers Germans fear that they are in danger if they visited Greece," said director AFTER Drakopoulos.

But Sybille Zeuch from the German Travel Association (DRV) said that, despite the hot start at the beginning of 2012, bookings are on the rise for several weeks.

"A lot of (German tourists) are regulars and they know that their visit was not affected by the events that took place in Athens," he said

Zeuch added that with this step, there is a good chance that the number of German tourists visiting Greece would not be very different from 2011, namely 2.5 million visits.

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