Greek holidays: will the high demand become a curse?
Greece's tourism industry is booming: income from tourism is set to reach record highs this year. Since the beginning of August almost one million holidaymakers per week have been arriving in Greece by plane, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias announced. But the high demand is also pushing up the cost of living, particularly in the most popular regions. Commentators are concerned.
Ever tougher for the locals
The web portal Capital sheds light on the dark side of the boom:
“The increased demand for holidays in Greece has driven up the cost of living in popular destinations (and in general), making them inaccessible for Greeks, but also for locals who don't have a high income from tourism. ... Teachers, doctors and other important categories of civil servants and professionals are finding it particularly hard to meet the economic demands of life in tourist areas, if they manage to find even basic accommodation there at all, that is. ... The Greek economy is disproportionately dependent on the tourism 'industry'. And that may well be harmful and even dangerous for the future.”
Holidays soon just for the rich
Stathis Kalyvas, professor of political science and holder of the Gladstone Professorship at Oxford University, writes in Kathimerini:
“We are witnessing a profound change in the tourism model, a genuine paradigm shift. Mass tourism has been replaced by a new model targeting very high incomes: VIP tourism. ... The most important consequence of this trend is the displacement of low- and medium-income earners from the most popular destinations. And this concerns us directly. The more VIP tourism expands, the greater the number of people who lose the opportunity to spend a holiday by the sea will become.”