Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Don't mess with tourism!

Early bookings for Greece are down by 20-30% in key markets such as Germany, UK or Scandinavia. Now, that could become a greater problem than not achieving the optimal PSI-acceptance.

Tourism accounts for, I believe, 15-20% of Greek GDP. It is one of THE pillars of the Greek economy. Actually, all efforts should be made to expand it because it generates income from abroad.

What really makes matters worse is that the above declines come against a background of increased tourism spending overall. So people are spending more on tourism but they are spending it elsewhere and not in Greece. That is a very dangerous development because it could feed upon itself!

Presumably, the declines have to do with the deteriorated image of Greece. Whatever it is, the year is still young and all efforts should be made to turn this development around.


  1. The problem of self defeating 'brand images'?

    Tourists buy into a lazy, laid-back lazy charm escapism. Yet its a view that fuels the resentment of N Europe towards "bail-out" loans.

    Yet, Greeks struggling on a daily basis, inevitably contradicts this image.

    How do you reconcile the two images in conditions of austerity with taxpayers in different parts of Europe blame each other? "Re-branding Greece" is one attempt, but it does not make TV headlines.

  2. Much of the global tourism growth is coming out of China and India, they want to go shopping, so they go to London, Paris, Milan, NYC, Zurich etc. Japan is also improving because people want to get away from the Tsunami/Fukushima disaster, last thing they're interested in is more doom and gloom, what they want is high quality resorts where the staff speak their language e.g. Hawaii & Rio.

    It shouldn't surprise anyone that bookings are down. Who wants to take a holiday in a country where there are riots and strikes. And who'd want to spend money in a country to which your government just donated 100's of billions of your money for what - something you don't even believe in, the Euro tooth fairy. Better to stay home and help your own flagging economy and its people.

    I was stuck on Crete for three days in the 1980's because of a strike. I vowed I'd never visit another Greek island without my own boat or plane. The behavior of Greek men towards female staff at the airport and in the hotels etc was Neanderthal. The hotel manager asked for a bribe to extend our booking; he didn't get one, instead we found a better, cheaper, quieter hotel for a couple of nights. And the flight out was half empty because the Greek men who'd been abusing the staff wouldn't get up early enough to catch it!