ECONOMICS > German tourists back in Greece


Tourism, an engine of the Greek economy, has started recovering, according to Thomas Cook Germany, a leading tour operator. ‘The booking trend runs parallel to what is in the papers,’ the company’s top executive says

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Contestants of the Miss Tourism Planet beauty contest promote the upcoming television show with a pose in front of the parliament in Athens in this photo shot last week. REUTERS photo

Contestants of the Miss Tourism Planet beauty contest promote the upcoming television show with a pose in front of the parliament in Athens in this photo shot last week. REUTERS photo

More Germans are booking holidays to Greece now that the debt-stricken country has not been in the headlines so much recently, the chief executive of a leading German tour operator said yesterday.

Tour operators and airlines in Germany had reported a slump of around a third in bookings to Greece this summer as Germans avoided the country, fearing they would not be welcomed after Chancellor Angela Merkel took a hard stance on the country’s debt woes.

Since Greece’s pro-bailout parties secured an election majority last month, bookings have picked up over the last few weeks, Thomas Cook Germany said.

“The booking trend runs parallel to what’s in the papers. If the headlines are bad, bookings fall, if it’s quiet, then they rise again,” Chief Executive Peter Fankhauser said.

Tourism generates about a fifth of Greece’s gross domestic product, and Germany is its biggest source of tourists. In the first quarter, the country’s income from tourism dropped 15 percent.

Fankhauser said that even though hoteliers and airlines had been offering discounts, booking numbers were still well below those of the previous year.

A spokesman for the tour operator declined to give exact numbers. Rival German tour operator Rewe said last week bookings to Greece were down by 28 percent.

Instead of Greece, German tourists are choosing to go to Spain, Turkey, or Tunisia. Bookings to Tunisia are back at 2010 levels, Fankhauser said, recovering strongly after the 2011 uprisings across the region.

Greece president cancels anniversary

ATHENS – Agence France-Presse

Greek President Carolos Papoulias has cancelled a reception to mark the fall of a military dictatorship in 1974 due to the economic crisis facing the country, his office said yesterday.

The lavish event, held annually at the presidential mansion in Athens on July 24, has been scaled back in recent years as austerity cuts deepened. “The event to mark the anniversary of the restoration of democracy will not be held this year,” it said, evoking “the hardship facing the Greek people.” Greece was forced to adopt a tough economic overhaul in 2010 after accepting a loan rescue from the EU and the IMF to avert bankruptcy. Conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who came to power at the head of a coalition government after elections on June 17, has also announced a 30-percent cut in ministers’ salaries.


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Vangelis Denaxas

7/19/2012 1:48:46 PM

Dorus Now they get much more benefited as the young educated scientists and specialized persons from Southern Countries like Spain Italy and Greece go to Germany for job. The German government officials themselves have mentioned that this situation at the South is an advantange for the German economy and market


7/19/2012 1:43:03 PM

Vangelis we also paid for their expensive weapons and helped their industry's prosperity. Germans aren't benefited from South Europe? sure it has!


7/19/2012 1:24:17 PM

that is good Kenan. It means that they ae not afraid of Golden Dawn as you suggest

kerem atan

7/19/2012 12:27:41 PM

Nicolas Pierre, u should also bear in mind that turkish tourists are the new customers of the greek tourism industry currently...

Semih CC

7/19/2012 9:59:45 AM

@Nicolas Pierre, What is negative about Greece in this article? No one talks about Greece's tourism on Istiklal or Sevgi Yolu Dont worry!!!This is a newspaper, it gives the facts about countries to educate some interested readers. It could be Greece, Italy, Germany or any country... What is the obsession about reading,searching,chasing articles about Greece in Turkish Newspaper and getting all funky???Regards

kerem atan

7/19/2012 12:09:34 AM

Nicolas Piere,cant turkish people comment on greeces tourism industry or its economy. people can put forward their ideas freely whether they are negative. so most of the turkish issues dont matter to greeks either tho they can post negative reviews.believe me greeks and other foreigners are more biassed agaist Turkey generally.

Vangelis Denaxas

7/18/2012 8:49:03 AM

Nicolas Pierre. You are right. It is the obsession of certain circles in Turkey (not necerarilly circles of the current government) against Greece, while the common people usually don't care or know. These circles nevertheless may have an effect on common people's minds, for pushing forward certain policies against certain countries in the area, for political or economical reasons.

Nicolas Piere

7/17/2012 8:08:11 PM

I've been monitoring the Hurriyet news for a few weeks now and all the main articles I seem to read are about Turkey's prowess and anything particularlynegative about Greece. No other country just Greece. Why should the Turkish population care about what's going on in the Greek tourism industry? Unless Turkey has an aspiration/complex or obsession with Greece.

US Observer

7/17/2012 7:04:20 PM

@ DutchTurk That made me laugh, sad but true.


7/17/2012 6:21:01 PM

@Levent Huseyin, With all absence of malice, I feel compelled in informing you that northern Cyprus does not belong to Turkey, Greece,Britain and or anyone else. It belongs to the indigenous Cypriots only. The latter excludes Turkish settlers illegally and deliberately imported by Turkey in order to dilute the indigenous Turkish Cypriot political clout. Regards
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