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Elena Kountoura: Support now for the people of the tourism industry

SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance MEP and former Minister of Tourism Elena Kountoura gave an interview to Costas Argyros that was published in Greek on rosa.gr about the mistakes made with the "opening" of tourism, the prospects of the industry and the need to create a European mechanism for its management.

  • Published in Greece

Most Greeks don't have the money to vacation for even a week

Against the background of the disappointing data for hotel occupancy in July (25% nationwide) and the "numbness" from the weak trends prescribed for August and September, the professionals of the tourism industry will make efforts to stimulate, at least, domestic tourism. In addition to the reduced VAT, which applies to air and ferry tickets and the "enhanced" social tourism packages, hotels are preparing discount packages, waging that this way will attract those still hesitant. Unfortunately, things are not so simple.

Tourism: Insufficient income puts a "brake" on holidays, 1 in 2 cannot cope financially
Undoubtedly, the anxiety or fear caused by the coronavirus acts as a deterrent, but the data of Eurostat and ELSTAT reveal another weak point of domestic tourism: the lack of sufficient income for a vacation of even one week.

The crisis of previous years has caused a "bleeding" in family budgets, which have been forced to revise goals and priorities. Thus, according to the comparative study of Eurostat, in 2019 - that is, before the coronavirus even appeared - 49% of Greeks said that they simply cannot make ends meet financially to take a week off. This is the second worst household situation in Europe, after Romania (54%), with an average of 29% in the European Union. But there are worse messages than this comparative test.

First of all, these trends - at least according to Eurostat - will continue during 2020, due to the restrictions imposed by the pandemic. Moreover, while in the whole of Europe there has been a decrease in this percentage since 2010 (it was 39%), in Greece (and in Italy) there is an increase. Specifically, in 2010, 46.3% of Greeks said they could not take a week off, rising to 52.8% in 2012, declining in 2013, jumping to 53.7% in 2015 and since then decreasing, but at a slower pace.

Tourism: Looking for free accommodation
The ... icing on the bitter "cake" are the data of ELSTAT, where in addition to the reduction by 6.8% of the trips made by the Greeks during 2019 within the country, data recorded are very revealing:

58% of personal trips were made to non-rental accommodation, mainly privately owned holiday homes and accommodation provided free of charge by relatives and friends. These trips account for 77% of the total number of overnight stays.

Travel with hotels and similar accommodation decreased by 7.9% and the corresponding overnight stays by 11%, compared to 2018.

  • Published in Travel

Flight from Hannover inaugurates tourist season for Heraklion; over 4,000 tourists expected to arrive on Wednesday

Α flight from Hannover on Wednesday morning inaugurated the tourist season for the city of Heraklion, Crete, after the re-opening of Nikos Kazantzakis airport to international flights. The reception of the first aeroplane was held, according to the tradition with a water arch and a small event in the presence of the local authorities that welcomed the first visitors with music and treats.

  • Published in Greece
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