Domestic tourism in Greece has suffered a dramatic downturn as a result of the debt crisis with many Greeks unable to afford to take a holiday.
The once busy ferry terminals are a clear indication that all is not well: “This year we are not to going on holiday, but we managed to set something aside for the kids, so they at least will enjoy themselves,” said one mother, a not unfamiliar tale in the current situation.
Captain Giannis Kalavros commands the Evia Star that connects Athens with the island of Evia: “Looking at our dairy of routes, with the passenger data, and compering it with the same period last year, we see that this year passenger numbers are 40 percent down”
The industry believes that Greeks have been traumatised over the past few years and the recent debt deal brinkmanship will mean more redundancies
Lissandros Tsilidis is from the Hellenic Association of Travel Agencies:
“Consumers are scared. Scared and terrified. They had to decide whether to go on holiday or to stay home and save money. They have chosen to stay at home. I fear that we will be forced to cut staff, as our main revenue of the high season has gone.”
Our correspondent in Attiki, Greece is Symela Touchtidou she says: “Over the past five years, the economic crisis has reduced the Greek holiday season to the months of July and August. Now with July lost, the tourist trade hopes for a comeback at Christmas, to recover, in part, the huge losses.”