Greeks “Rediscovering” Winter Breaks and Winter Holidays

FILE - A young woman cycles in front of the ''Umbrellas'' sculpture at the snow covered seafront of the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

Greece’s winter resorts posted high occupancy rates during this year’s Christmas and New Year’s holidays, boosted mainly by the return of Greeks that have gone back to taking winter holidays, as they did before the recession. The president of the Hoteliers Union of Drama Angelos Kalias, talking to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA), reported a rise in short two-day breaks but a drop in bookings for long holidays.

This notwithstanding, tourism to Greece’s mountain resorts plays a key role is the life of the local communities and helps to contain pressures for internal migration, he added.

Metsovo Mayor Meletis Tzafeas said that 60 to 70 percent of locals earn income through tourism, either directly or indirectly, while younger people, especially, are not willing to give it up.

Tourism also supports the local economy in the city of Kastoria, said its mayor Anestis Aggelis to ANA, and the crisis in the fur industry has forced locals to turn to the tourism industry and to alternative tourism to earn a living, as well as to farming and the primary sector of the economy.