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.