Greece has been hit very hard by the global financial crisis, leaving its tourism industry in dire straits. However, the Greeks are relying on their mettle to get out of the situation.
Government spending on tourism in Greece has had to take a severe cutback. Not only have the Greeks been using last year’s promotion materials as there is no money to make new ones, yet there are similarly no plans to make new materials for campaigns in 2011. Indeed, Greek officials and economic experts only see further turmoil. Strikes are on the horizon and a war of words between Athens and Berlin is likely to dissuade the 2.3 million regular visitors to Greece from Germany from visiting again.
The statistics do not make for great reading either. There was a general 10% drop in visitors last year to Greece and the remaining people contrived to spend less money. Greece may seem to keep a smile on its face at international trade fairs and other events but not everything is at it should be in tourism. Tourism is extremely important to Greece, accounting for one fifth of its economy and keeping a huge amount of people in work.
However, the optimists have had their say as to what is happening and how things will turn out. It has been pointed out that other Europeans are likely to still visit Greece despite the country’s problems. Similarly, Germans will continue to visit and ignore the political tension between the two EU member states. The main argument is that, despite all the problems, Greece will always be able to boast 6,000 islands and 15,000 kilometers of coastline. The sea will be as turquoise as ever, the cuisine as unique as ever and this will never change.