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No summer vacations for 1 in 2 Greeks due to high cost

One in two Greeks will go nowhere this summer, and even those who will do travel for vacations will be forced to cut back on spending and days spent. The reason is the obvious: mass arrivals of foreign tourists have skyrocketed the prices for the locals.

Greece may appear in the top ten of the list of the most attractive tourist destinations and the countries that recovered the fastest from the pandemic, but the Greeks seem to be following… the opposite course, unable to take vacations in their own country!

Every time Greek tourism “does well”, the opportunities for Greeks to vacations in one of the country’s popular tourist resorts, and especially on the islands, dwindle, due to their limited purchasing power and the “salty” services that comprise the total holiday package (travel, accommodation, dining, entertainment).

The new summer season, which started vigorously from the beginning of May, is accompanied by the highest holiday “bill”. With data available from hotel and cruise companies, it is estimated that the basic package holiday will increase by an average of at least 15% to 20% compared to last year.

In this context and given the mass landing of foreign tourists in the popular destinations, most Greeks will either have to put their hands “deep in their pockets” or stay at home for the fourth summer in a row.

It is recalled that in 2020 the pandemic forced everyone to stay at home, in 2021 those who went on vacation were few, while last year and this year punctuality combined with the availability of accommodation emerged as key regulators for Greeks’ vacations.

Already, based on the first data from consumer organizations, this year one in two Greeks will not take a vacation, while even those who will travel to a certain destination will be forced to reduce their expenses and the days they stay.

The reservations

In any case, a basic condition for someone not to go… out of budget is to have “booked” a summer vacation package in time, finding accommodation that suits them.

Greeks, who traditionally wait until the last minute to decide where to go on vacation, this year find it more difficult than ever not only to find a destination but, above all, to afford the cost of the vacation. Most hotel rooms (over 80%) have been bought early (from autumn) by tour operators, while the remaining rooms (20%) are available directly from hoteliers at “door prices”, which can be up to double compared to what the tour operators have paid!

Tourism market players are already warning that this summer will be “prohibitive” for Greek travelers and this is because the demand from abroad is explosive (it is similar to that of 2019 and in some island destinations exceeds it), while the prices in general remain high.

Hotels are recording unprecedented demand, while other tourist accommodations, such as holiday homes and short-term rental apartments, show high occupancy for the period from July 15 to August 27. Based on the largest international tourist accommodation rental platforms, for the period from the second 15th of July until the 13th of August, 80% of the accommodation of all types listed on them has no availability! Also, for the week of August 15th – public holiday in the country and the peak of summer vacations for Greeks – there are only a few available rooms (1 in 10).

The prices

Across the country, available room rates for July and August typically start at €70 a night for a family of four to squeeze into one room. This category includes accommodation of various types, which in most cases either “do not fill the eye” and should probably cost at least half as much or are located in non-summer tourist destinations. These destinations, such as small and larger towns or villages in the winter destinations of Peloponnese, Central and Northern Greece, are a solution for a family holiday, but daily commutes by car to/from the nearby beaches, etc.

In general, however, it will be difficult to find accommodation in a popular tourist destination that costs less than 120 euros per night. Specifically, according to the results of searches on the Booking and Airbnb platforms, it seems that there is not a single small accommodation with a price of less than 150 euros per night on popular islands, such as Milos, Sifnos, Naxos, Folegandros, Mykonos or Santorini. The situation is slightly better in Paros, Andros or Syros, but without “big” differences.

That is, for someone who chooses to stay in a double room for six nights, the required “budget” will start at best from 720 euros and can easily exceed 1,000 or even 2,000 euros!

It is noted that smaller and not so popular islands, as well as inland destinations that had their accommodations at good prices in the past, have significantly increased their price lists this year, causing unpleasant surprises, especially to their regular visitors. In some cases, for simple rooms to rent, the owners ask for 200 or even 300 euros a night!

The tickets

To these costs are added the costs of the ferry tickets, which on several Aegean islands now exceed 100 euros (one-way) per person. In particular, the prices of ferry and plane tickets remain at high levels, while in many cases they even exceed the cost of accommodation.

Even the usual solution of a car holiday, resorted to by those who cannot afford ferry or plane tickets, this year still worries many, as fuel prices remain high, while the costs of tolls will also have to be calculated in the travel costs .

Focusing on Greece is probably the only area where the tourist has the choice to pay a little or a lot, despite the increases that have been made in products and services.

Source: Print version Ta Nea via newspaper oikonomikostaxydromos

PS Not to mention the prices for food and other daily expenses that will increase the vacations budget.

On the island of Crete, there have been recently a lot of complaints by consumers who had to pay 10 euros for a traditional Greek salad at an average restaurant.

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20 comments

  1. “On the island of Crete, there have been recently a lot of complaints by consumers who had to pay 10 euros for a traditional Greek salad at an average restaurant”.

    A typical Greek salad on Crete feeds 2 people – I’m not sure 5 euro each is excessive (given the general state of everything).

    • keeptalkinggreece

      right, and 2.5 if they’re four -unless you order more than just a salad. lol

      • people don’t just order a salad between e.g. 4 – that’s not the point – a decent fresh Greek salad consisting of peppers, tomatoes, onions, feta cheese. some rigani, olive oil and maybe olives is not excessive at (say) ten euro.

  2. I think that whoever gets voted back in as prime minister should pay for us all to go on holiday! 🤣🤣.We can only but dream

  3. And so therefore 10 euros is a reaso able price.
    Deduct 1.3 euro for vat. Another 20 cents for local taxes and 3 euro for ingredients. You are left with.5.50 euro. Out of that the staff have to be paid. As does the rent, electricity, water etc.

    Let’s estimate that all those costs are a 1/3 of the ticket price, as that’s a pretty standard formula for any business.

    That leaves a total of 2.2 euro profit.

    Now let’s assume that there are no further expenses like repairing fridges, furniture etc.
    Which there always are.

    Then the business has to pay 30% tax on any profit..

    Suddenly we are down to 1.40 or so euros income on that 10 euro salad.

    Doesn’t seem that excessive now does it?

  4. michele lavender

    I think ten euro is fine,dont do the extras such as wine,chips etc. coca cola..calamari and a lovely greek salad,fresh crusty bread,lots of olive oil,I always insist they cook that calamari til its really soft other wise its like chewing a load of elastic bands and you musnt swallow it or you might choke to death.

  5. It’s not the tourists who put up the prices, it’s the locals and the operators.
    The solution, go to Turkey. Die in shame later.

  6. If the tourists don’t come, then tourism would come affordable again for Greeks but many tourism businesses would not survive and go out business. There would be less income for the Greek State. This is typical for an economy which is not diversified enough and dependent on only a few sectors.

    I read that many jobs in the tourism sector go unfulfilled and that they need to hire foreigners. Perhaps having a job like this is the only way for many Greek to at least spend some time at the seaside. Better that then to go crazy unemployed in your flat in Athens at 40 degrees.

    • keeptalkinggreece

      it’s low payment and exhausting working hours throughout the tourism season.

      • I understand that, and workers need protection. But all these Albanian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Serbian and other foreign workers are putting up with that. Also in other sectors, such as agriculture. I know that many Greek are working long hours for little pay with little holidays. But when I see how many Greek are unemployed, especially the young, with so many jobs in tourism and agriculture available, and knowing that Greeks are economically in a tight position, I’d assume people would take these jobs.

        • keeptalkinggreece

          it didn’t happen also during the economic crisis. Locals especially skilled/educated ones don’t do low-paid jobs with bad labor conditions and away from home. Same in other European countries & USA.

          • I am in Serbia. A lot of labor abuse going on here as well. Skilled/educated people either land a good paying job or they leave. Those who can’t land a job or can’t leave for whatever reason, need to take jobs like that or else no food on the table. Worse off are those who don’t have skills or education. These people can’t be picky.

  7. I find it excessive for a salad, I’ve been living in Crete for 9 years. Maybe they should do like some states do, locals get discounts for example at restaurants, hotels, etc. All you have to do is show proof you are a local with an ID or driver’s license. Now that tourist season is full blown I will not pay the outrages prices some restaurants have, especially in the old harbor in Chania.

  8. All those focusing solely on the single example of the cost of salad are clearly missing the point…