Tourism was something that Greece used to take for granted, and it shows. Many younger tourists now come for booze and sex rather than culture and romance. But the Greek debt crisis has forced a rethink, according to a report in Guardian News & Media. “The sector went wrong in every way that Greece went wrong,” says Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism, George Nikitiadis. “There was no strategy, no methodology, no preparation, no business plan.
“The markets, the tour operators, the travel agencies, the airlines, they all came to us. We didn’t go to them.” Nikitiadis says bar crawls are not what Greece is about – “our country has so much more to offer” – and that the government is trying to promote alternative forms of tourism. A major part of the strategy is to spread visitations, which are now heavily concentrated between July and September. It’s a big job, and one that is very important to the future of Greece.
Tourism accounts for 18% of Greece’s gross domestic product while one in five Greeks is employed in the industry.