Record-Breaking Tourist Arrivals

In a recent article, The Guardian refers to the crucial contribution of tourism to Greece’s economic growth, saying that this year would be a record year for Greek tourism.

The article begins with the summer “ritual” in the Greek island of Paros. “One by one they came – vessels the size of tenement blocks – disgorging holidaymakers on to an esplanade dotted with little white buildings in scenes of exuberant commotion,” says the article.

The article notes that Greece, after six years of economic crisis and recession, is doing what it has done since the 50s, which is to draw in holidaymakers from abroad, only this time at record-breaking rates.

The Guardian, citing figures by the consumer protection group Inka, notes that only one in four Greeks will be able to afford summer holidays. However in a country where the economy is mainly based on tourism and one in five of the working population is working in the sector, the arrival of foreign visitors has brought relief.

It is estimated that visitor arrivals in Athens will increase by 750,000 this year while one million tourists have already arrived “spilling out of archaeological sites and the narrow alleyways of the picturesque Plaka district beneath the Acropolis, piling into restaurants and cafes and cramming the stores that sell the fodder of every classic Greek holiday: sandals, statues, T-shirts and bags.”

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