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Greece’s Tourist Boom

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“Why don’t all Athenians walk around talking about Hydra all the time? It’s so beautiful!”

This from an American friend who recently spent a weekend on the Sardonic Gulf island. Yes, in February. Said sage went on about low prices and the absence of tourists.

If your heart is not set on swimming in the Mediterreanean and your idea of a perfect holiday is not about baking on a beach, then any time of the year is great for a trip to Greece. Weather is temperate throughout the year, and the absence of tourist hoards can more than compensate for chilly seas.

It’s not as though the tourist hoards haven’t yet cottoned onto the fact that Greece is a great all-around destination. As this AP article points out, tourism in Greece jumped 10% in 2006. It appears that that the Greek Ministry of Tourism‘s “Live Your Myth” campaign—along with the extremely expensive public relations campaign also known as the 2004 Olympics—have really paid off.

Athens Olympics

The question remains, however: What effect did Greece’s hosting of the 2006 Eurovision contest have on these numbers?

About the author

In order to keep a promise she and her brother had made to their grandmother (and to simultaneously fulfill one of her own dreams) Kaymaria left her beloved hometown of Oakland, California and headed to Athens in time for the 2004 Olympics. Today, she continues to work and play in the Greek capital, where you may find her writing atop Lykavittos, road-tripping with overseas guests, enjoying Athens cafés with friends, dancing to Greek hip-hop music, or reading Greek subtitles in an outdoor cinema. The daughter of two life-long educators and enthusiastic travelers, Kaymaria has explored North America, Mexico, and Europe. It was not until she spent a year as an exchange student at The University of York in England, however, that she discovered that she does not actually speak English.

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