After six stark years of recession, debt-stricken Greece is drawing in holidaymakers at record-breaking rates, according to UK newspaper The Guardian.
“The rebound offers the first ray of light in a nation that to a great degree has been rendered unrecognisable by the corrosive effects of austerity,” it is noted in the article, which includes the latest data on Greek tourism along with statements by the industry’s key figures and professionals.
Greek tourism in 2014
“We have revised our number upwards to around 19 million arrivals, an all-time record.” – Andreas Andreadis, president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE)
“We have seen a rise in occupancy rates of 25% in the first five months of this year, which is the highest in Europe.” – Alexandros Vassilikos, president of the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association
“Forget the crisis! I’d say this is one of our best years yet.” – Andreas Hadjiathanasiou, car rental agency on Paros
“My reservations are up, up, up.” – Anastasios Gikas, hotelier on Paros
On Athens, The Guardian refers to a “turnaround that has surprised even industry figures.” The Greek capital is expected to see a 750,000 increase in arrivals this year.
The need to extend Greece’s tourism season is also mentioned in the article. “If we want to reap more benefits from tourism it is vital that we improve our product, extend the season, branch into other niche markets like cultural and medical tourism,” the president of the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association, Mr. Vassilikos, told The Guardian.
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