15:43 GMT24 February 2020
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    While Germany remains Greece's primary creditor and has called on the country to adopt tough austerity measures in return for bailout money, Germans themselves might actually help Greece out of the crisis as the country remains a favorite destination for tourists.

    German tourists have kept their loyalty to Greece despite the refugee crisis and planned tax increases. The country remains a favorite holiday destination among German tourists.

    The number of bookings has significantly increased compared with summer 2015, German magazine Spiegel Online wrote.

    "The booking figures are higher than those of the record summer 2015," a spokesman for the German Travel Association (DRV) said, cited by the magazine.

    Although the sales to a number of Greek islands like Kos and Samos have declined, in particular due to a high number of refugees entering the country in the area, "the demand for Crete, Corfu and Rhodes, which are particularly popular with holidaymakers from Germany, on the other hand, has increased," the DRV spokesman said.

    The popularity of the country has not even been affected by the fact that local services for tourists have become more expensive. For instance, beer, hotel accommodation and cigarettes will cost more due to a new austerity package approved by the government to get the country out of the debt crisis.

    Turkey's popularity as a holiday resort has on the contrary decreased amid terrorist attacks in Istanbul and other Turkish cities this year, the magazine wrote. The demand for Egypt has also decreased compared to the previous year, the magazine wrote.

    Greek Evzoni presidental guards attend the hoisting of the Greek flag ceremony atop the ancient Acropolis on October 12, 2015, marking the anniversary of the liberation of Athens from the German Nazi occupation in 1944.
    © AFP 2019 / Louisa Gouliamaki
    The Greek debt crisis erupted in 2010 with a number of austerity packages adopted by the parliament and several bailout payments provided by the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The loans, however, only resulted in increasing country's debt.

    The last Greek bailout program expired on June 30, 2015. Under the latest package and after passing controversial austerity reforms, Greece awaits the next and second tranche of $6.5 billion under the European Stability Mechanism.

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    Tags:
    tourism, debt crisis, Greece, Germany
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