UK Markets closed

Greece hopes for tourists

We may be in the midst of a economic crisis, but people are still going to take holidays – aren’t they?

That’s the hope of participants at the World Travel Market in London, one of the travel industry’s biggest events.

And Greece is one of the most hopeful.The country suffered a big drop in tourist numbers last summer, which Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni says it can ill afford.

She told euronews: “It’s very important not only in terms of revenue, it’s also important in terms of job creation, which is now one of Greece’s major problems. That’s why we are focusing on tourism, we are focusing on investment on tourism.”

Greek hoteliers say they’ve had to slash prices by up to 40 percent to attract visitors, and when money is tight attitude is important according to entrepreneur Panos Paleologos, whose company helps small hotels to build their business.

He said: “When there is a crisis, for a small business there’s not a lot you can do. But one of the things you can do when you are a small hotel, you can offer hospitality with your soul. That’s what me and other hoteliers in Greece try to offer.”

Tourism accounts for nearly a fifth of Greece’s economy and one in five jobs there is linked to the industry which makes it vital to country’s economic recovery.