Greek tourism officials announced positive tourism numbers in the 2013 season. Holidaymakers have returned in hundreds to the islands and to the capital Athens after a difficult summer of 2012. Greece hotels bookings increased a lot compared to last year.
The Greek minister of tourism reckons that the number travelers could reach 17 million this year, compared to 15 million in 2012. Sun and sea holidays in Greece are this year popular especially among Germans, British, Macedonians and French.
Leisure tourists most often head to the islands of Santorini, Mykonos, Paros, Amorgos, Crete and Sifnos.
"The increase in tourism is linked to the fact that Greece is not talked about in the media in the same way as it was in 2011 - 2012, when pictures of violent demonstrations were shown. Today, the crisis is ongoing, but the protests are calm", says KB, director of the Greek tourist society tailored to Athens, which saw a +22% increase in bookings this year.
The few recent demonstration against the job cuts in the civil service, for example, stared central in S square, in front of the parliament in Athens. They hardly affected the tourists, who generally stay in the capital for a few days before taking a boat to the islands.
In terms of the budget, KB claims that from now on one can find "excellent value for money, charming Greece hotels in corners of paradise just a few meters from the beach". He added: "The price drop remains limited because taxes and charges have become really steep for the business owners. But some hotels in Athens or on Crete, for example, will offer deals of 30% off if you book well in advance".