Old Times: Big Souvenir Sales at Greek Archaeological Sites

ATHENS – Not only are tourists pouring into Greece – during the lingering but waning COVID-19 pandemic – in what could be record-breaking numbers, they are breaking out their wallets and spending, especially at archaeological sites.

Sales of souvenirs in those popular areas, which Greece has promoted for people not as keen on going to islands or beaches but more interested in history, are jumping at shops there.

The most popular items bringing in the most money appear to be small, budget-friendly mementos, such as refrigerator magnets, which were not available at the Ministry of Culture shops in 2019, said Kathimerini.

These new items have been created as part of the new Hellenic Heritage initiative by the Hellenic Organization of Cultural Resources Development.

A total of 140 magnet designs have been created for 50 archeological sites and it’s proved so magnetic that more than 40,000 have been sold, bringing in 69,500 euros ($70,470) in ecomomy boosting revenues.

Many of the other items selling well at the sites are similarly low-priced, making them attractive, including for those children as well as stationery, which have brought in a combined 128,500 euros ($130,293) it was said.

The highest revenue for the month of July was recorded at the shop of the archaeological site of Knossos, on Crete, which made 61,500 euros ($62,358) the paper said, a big jump from 50,000 euros ($50,698) in 2019.

Those are symbolic sales as after two years of lockdowns, tourism in Greece is making a strong comeback with officials claiming that 2022 tourism revenues will reach 90 percent of the 2019 record when 33 million visitors spent 18 billion euros ($18.25 billion) in monies.


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