Tourism is one of the foundations of the Greek economy. It forms almost 20% of the country’s economic output – the largest share. But despite individual success stories, tourism has been badly affected. Behind the fall, is a toxic combination of financial hardship abroad and Greece’s own financial – and now political – crisis. The country has been stunned by months of anti-austerity demonstrations. Hostility towards Germany has grown since Greeks have been badly affected by a German government that has pushed Greek austerity measures. Besides, the inconclusive elections raised fresh questions about Greece’s continuing membership of the Euro. Europeans are concerned that Greece will exit euro and will go back to ’emergency drachma’ that will be worth only about 10% of the euro’s value. That makes tourists speculate about their vacations in Greece.
Furthermore, the Greek government was forced to cut salaries and benefits of employees in the state and private sector in an effort to improve its financial balances. That caused people to revolt in order to protect their own rights and benefits. This brought strikes and sporadic riots in central Athens. While these actions were fully understood, they often resulted in inconveniences for travelers.
It is important to mention that Greek tourism covers 51.2% of the trade deficit, employs one in five inhabitants of the country, contributes 16.4 gross domestic product and creates 34-billion aggregate demand in the economy.(SETE)
The contribution of tourism in Greek economy for the year 2012 was large. Greece’s GDP reached 16.4%, while total employment in the tourism department (688,800 jobs) corresponds to 18.3% of the workforce.
Globally compared, according to the latest figures of the World Tourism Organization (WTO), Greece in 2012 was 17th in international arrivals and 23rd in terms of revenues. Also, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in 2013, Greece occupies the 32nd position among 140 countries in the Index Travel and Tourism Competitiveness, while in the Global Competitiveness Index occupies the 96th possition.
These figures show that Greek tourism is one of the few sectors of the national economy, which is globally competitive.
Greek tourism enterprises (SETE) have announced a 10% rise in international tourist arrivals at airports for the first half of 2013.
“The Bank of Greece in turn announced that in the year running up to May 2013, tourism revenue had soared 38.5 percent and foreign arrivals 24 percent” states FoxNews.
It is also important to mention that tourism revenue grew 15% between January and May.
Head of SETE Andreas Andreadis said that improved political stability compared to 2012, a drop in prices caused by the economic crisis as well as the cancellation of holidays to Turkey and Tunisia, all contributed to the recovery.
That means only one thing. Greeks need to focus on the things that can provide them revenue, stabilizing their prices and offering good quality and services.
Greece is an amazing and wonderful country.
You should give Greeks a chance to prove it to you..