Although Greece may be getting ready to welcome 17 million foreign tourists this year, according to forecasts, the Greeks themselves will most likely stay home this summer.
The prolonged recession of the country’s economy and the unpopular austerity measures – that have included tax hikes, salary and pension cuts and high income tax payments – have many Greeks considering not to take a vacation this summer.
The annual nationwide survey conducted by the General Consumer Federation of Greece (INKA) showed that 73 percent of Greeks said they had not planned to take a vacation this summer – an increase from 69 percent last year.
Greeks are said to account for a quarter of tourists in the country annually.
The reasons Greeks are staying home this year are: financial (70 percent), job and income insecurity (20 percent), professional obligations and other reasons (10 percent).
The survey, in which 545 consumers participated via telephone interviews during 1-8 July, showed that 40 percent of those taking vacations would stay away for only four days.
The survey also showed that 52 percent would reside at a privately owned summerhouse, 28 percent at a family or friend’s summerhouse and only 20 percent would stay at a hotel or rented room.
INKA also calculated that the minimum cost for a 15-day holiday for a four-member family added up to some 2,700 euros.
In regards to Greeks traveling to international destinations during the summer, a 50 percent drop is expected.
“Greeks appear more pessimistic than all Europeans compared to last year,” INKA noted.