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Economy

Tourists Can Afford to Visit Greece, But Many Greeks Can’t

ATHENS – While Greece is already nearly overflowing with tourists kept away during the COVID-19 lockdown years, many Greeks hit with near-record inflation and price hikes can’t afford to take vacations in their own country.

Taking a domestic holiday in Greece costs some 30 percent more than it did in 2019, the year before the pandemic hit, said Kathimerini, citing an unnamed tourism official.

That was based on soaring prices for accommodations with demand spiking, American airlines adding more direct flights and people pouring in from across the world, eager to have fun again although COVID is still around.

Between jumping prices and limited availability of rooms, more Greeks are deciding to spend their summer time off at their villages or hometowns or staycations in their own residences – or even going abroad which could be cheaper.

The year 2022 is proving to be a bust-out time over pent-up demand with people kept mostly at home for two years and keen to travel, with Greece and the European Union essentially ending health restrictions.

Greece’s wooing of foreign visitors is paying off big-time as well, although the increase in demand is spiking prices so much that many Greeks struggling to pay for everything from food to fuel to electric bills are locked out of Greek vacations.

The head of the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation, Grigoris Tasios, told the organization’s general meeting that average operating costs for facilities has risen as much as 30 percent, mostly passed on to customers.

With summer looming, the newspaper said that many Greeks haven’t eve bothered to book stays in Greece although so many tourists are expected that hotels, restaurants, bars and taverns on the mainland and islands won’t lack.

Even bigger price hikes for accommodations are expected in July and August, partially to offset discounts offered before the season began which could mean that one guest will pay double what another is paying who booked earlier.

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