Greek Families Cannot Afford Vacationing in Greece

Monday, July 10th, 2017
Last Update: 14:06

Rising prices and the increase of foreign visitors, along with the rising cost of living, are making vacations in Greece unaffordable for Greeks, according to a report at Greece’s daily Kathimerini.

Heavy taxes, higher security contributions, price raises in goods and services and new pension cuts have made the disposable income of Greeks to drop significantly (34.6%), if not non-existent in cases where there are unemployed in the family. Thereby, vacations take the back seat in the family budget.

At the same time, the ever-increasing numbers of tourist arrivals have made the availability of lodging in holiday destinations scarcer, thereby more expensive as the demand is higher than supply.

Cosmopolitan Mykonos is the first popular destination where the cost of vacationing is prohibitive for the vast majority of Greeks. According to the report, you can hardly find any Greek tourists there.

However, Mykonos is not a particular phenomenon. Even islands like Folegandros and Milos, typical destinations for Greek families, are becoming unaffordable for Greek travellers. The limited accommodation spaces have been booked by foreign visitors from the end of June through the end of September, the report says.

The island of Patmos is a characteristic case, according to kathimerini. The Dodecanese island has only one small five-star hotel and a few other well-organized hotels. There are no daily ship routes. However, in the past few years the island has become very popular, especially among Italians. And whereas the island was full in the 30-day period between the end of July through the end of August, now hotels are full with prices of 150 euros per night, even in June. The hotel prices and the high demand have led the prices of rented rooms to go up as well.

According to the report, a Greek family of four with a car needs a total 3,270 euros for a week’s vacation in an East Aegean island, including sea fare. An amount that is prohibitive, even for households with an average income.

Now most Greek families would go only for three-day vacations, choose inexpensive accommodations, spend only for the basics and avoid any kind of luxuries during that period.

However, despite the fact that foreign tourists have “displaced” Greeks in holiday destinations, travel receipts are not as expected. Instead, they are decreasing. According to the Bank of Greece, in 2016, while arrivals and overnight stays increased, travel receipts declined by 6.8%, despite the marginal increase (by 0.2%) of hotel prices.

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