Can Greece Count on Tourism to Rescue it From its Economic Hole?

Travel Blog  •  Michael Yessis  •  06.22.10 | 4:59 PM ET

It’s sure trying. World Hum contributor Joanna Kakissis reports for NPR on Greece’s efforts to lure visitors and fight the perception that rioters plague the country. One key target market: Germans.

German politicians are not popular in Greece. Greeks see them as the instigators of austerity measures that will mean years of recession ahead. The German media has also played up the rift between the two countries.

And that seems to be reflected in the number of Germans avoiding holidays here.

Germans usually make up about 15 percent of visitors to Greece. But the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises estimates that 300,000 of them—or about 12 percent of the Germans who come to Greece annually—will stay away this year. About 16 million travelers visit Greece each year.

So Greece’s tourism ministry is trying to restore the country’s image in Germany and beyond.

Greece’s government has also “offered to compensate tourists stranded by labour unrest ahead of a new travel strike,” according to AFP

4 Comments for Can Greece Count on Tourism to Rescue it From its Economic Hole?

Laura 06.23.10 | 12:25 PM ET

I wonder what percentage of Greece’s tourism trade generally comes from Germany.  I worry for Greece if they’re really counting on tourism to bring them up through the recession.

Grizzly Bear Mom 06.25.10 | 11:36 AM ET

It is just silliness to cancel travel plans week ahead of time because of a little unstabiilty in the government.  This is all going to blow over by holiday time. 

I wonder if the oh so practical Germans are canceling their plans not for political or safety reasons, but to “Pay the Greeks back” for the extravagance Berlin feels that it has to pay for.

Mona Lisa 07.01.10 | 6:34 PM ET

I think it is the moment of truth. All the negative publicity about Greece at their moment of weakness shows that Germans are obviously NOT very good friends of Greece. Greeks have to realize who their friends are and decide that doing business with Germany may not be a good idea. This includes stop buying German products and using German services like flying with Lufthansa.

Mona Lisa 07.01.10 | 6:45 PM ET

Who is ultimately hurt by a weak Greece but German banks and bondholders. If Greece becomes insolvent, these guys will have to pick up the tab.Greeks owe their debts mainly to German and French banks. Greeks are making an enormous effort to pay back their debts by enforcing austericy measures and turning their economy upside down to fix the ills.  What they are trying to do is be responsible to their obligations to the German banks. How is this wrong?

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