Last updated: 04:00 AM ET, Tue September 20 2016

Greek Tourism Thrives in a Down Economy

Destination & Tourism | Janeen Christoff | September 20, 2016

Greek Tourism Thrives in a Down Economy

PHOTO: Tourists on the beach in Rhodes, Greece (courtesy Thinkstock) 

Tourism has become one of the main economic mainstays in a struggling economy, and even though it is one of Europe’s weakest economies, reports Helena Smith in the Guardian, tourism is still one of its bright spots. 

“Figures released by Greece’s tourism confederation, SETE, reveal the extent to which the sector is protecting Europe’s weakest economy. With a 6.5 percent increase in tourist arrivals at major airports between January and August – the equivalent of about 750,000 holidaymakers – the industry accounted for eight out of 10 new jobs,” Smith notes in the Guardian. 

The tourism boost to the economy isn’t just seen in financial numbers but also in ministry of labor data, too. 

“Extrapolating ministry of labour data, the confederation said 210,226 of the 253,945 positions created in that time were either in tourist accommodation or restaurants. Unemployment, still the worst in the 28-nation bloc, fell to 23.1 percent between April and June, down from an all-time high of 28% in 2014,” says Smith. 

With tourism the glue behind Greece’s weakened economy, it’s no surprise then to hear that president Prokopis Pavlopoulos invited CNN’s Christiane Amanpour to the country during an interview. 

“This is a hospitable country,” he said. “Hopefully you can come back next summer. After all, the Greek people are always appreciative of those who care about them.”

Were Amanpour to take up the Greek president on his offer, she would not be alone. 

READ MORE: Why Fall Cruising in Greece Is a Great Idea

“Industry figures say the country has not only benefited from turmoil in the Middle East, security fears in Turkey and terrorist attacks elsewhere in Europe, but also the dramatic drop in refugees in the six months since the EU signed a controversial deal with Ankara to stop the flow,” notes Smith. 

For more on how the Greek tourism industry is thriving, read on here

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