The economic crisis in Greece has not deterred bargain-hunting tourists. Despite the political upheaval, the tourism industry is helping to get the cash-strapped country back on its feet as travellers make the most of low prices and shorter queues.
Safety concerns may have been overplayed by the media and the Greek government, but in reality now is a great time to visit Greece.
In her address to the Greek Parliament, Elena Kountoura, Minister of Tourism, announced, “Tourism…is the main economic source of income today….Today it offers 75,000 direct jobs.”
These numbers rise to 1.5 million indirect jobs that are fuelled by money coming in through the tourism sector. Essentially, tourism is the main source of jobs and with the data showing positive signs, there is a glimmer of hope for Greek residents.
Holidaymakers give helping hand
Greek banks have restricted account holders to withdraw 60 euros a day, leaving them with little choice for luxury items.
But the economic plight of Greece is not lost on foreign visitors. Holidaymakers may benefit from a weaker euro, but many see visiting as a way of helping the local economy, and do not shirk away from spending and offering generous tips to help fund the locals.
Some holidaymakers visit Greece multiple times a year. “Why not spend our money here? We love the people,” one couple was quoted by Reuters as saying.
There has arguably never been a better time to visit Greece. The sultry blue waters, rich historic culture and warm Greek hospitality is still there, but hotel prices, sight-seeing tours and sumptuous dining is all available for lower prices.