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Swedish tourists head to Greece despite crisis
Greek riot police throw tear gas as at protesters in Athens on June 15th

Swedish tourists head to Greece despite crisis

Published: 16 Jun 2011 12:54 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Jun 2011 12:54 GMT+02:00

Greece's spiraling economic and political crisis has done little to dissuade Swedes' from choosing the Mediterranean country as a holiday destination, Swedish travel companies report.

Travel companies Ving and Fritidsresor have both reported a 10 percent increase in bookings to Greece this summer compared to last year.

"We've seen a huge interest in Greece ahead of this summer," Ving spokesperson Magdalena Öhrn told the TT news agency.

Ving's sends most of its Greece-bound Swedish travelers to Rhodes and Crete.

The strength of the Swedish krona against the euro and political unrest in other popular holiday destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt, are seen as two explanations as to why so many Swedes have chosen to travel to Greece during the summer holidays, despite widespread demonstrations in Athens and an economy on the brink of bankruptcy.

"Earlier this year we saw a huge increase to Turkey when the krona was a little weaker against the euro. But now we're also seeing a big increase to Greece," said Eva Olivecrona, a spokesperson with Fritidsresor, to TT.

On its website, the Swedish foreign ministry says that Greece is going through a severe economic crisis which has resulted in drastic wage cuts for public sector employees, tax hikes, and cuts in social benefits.

The measures have sparked widespread demonstrations and strikes, primarily in Athens and Thessaloniki.

"Most often, the demonstrations have been calm but demonstrations can spiral into violence. The embassy urges Swedes to avoid large crowds and public demonstrations," the foreign ministry warns on its website.

Charter company Thomas Cook has also reported that the number of trips sold to Greece this summer ahs increased by 13 percent compared to last summer, according to UK newspaper The Guardian.

TT/The Local/dl (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

14:54 June 16, 2011 by Frobobbles
Why should a tourist enjoing the beach and the moussaka in the little village care about demonstrations at a square in Athens?
18:51 June 16, 2011 by motti
Why don't they go to visit Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip? They have a beautiful water park, just opened with water slides etc. After all, you as tax payers have helped to finance this and the beautiful shopping mall in Gaza City.

Swedes and Norwegians will be made most welcome, especially since Kaare Willoch has accepted "Palestinian" citizenship.
08:02 June 17, 2011 by What?
Something does not sound right!

"Travel companies Ving and Fritidsresor have both reported a 10 percent increase in bookings to Greece this summer compared to last year."

Where are the statistics and facts?

I can "report" that selling ice to eskimoes has skyrocketed in 2011 as "global warming" is making ice a valuable commodity. The Eskimoe IceStocks rose with 26% today on Wallstreet!

They are promoting false statistics in a desperate attempt to get tourists to arrive to spend their money there!

Let's hear from some real tourists who actually went there and why they would be so stupid! The country is about to go bankrupt and are fighting to get out oft he EU dollar, which they realized was a really dumb mistake to join!
12:25 June 17, 2011 by Kaethar
Eh? What's the problem? Greece experiencing a crisis = cheap prices. And it's not like people would be rioting at resorts. I'm considering taking advantage of the Greek situation for my holiday trip this year as well...
15:33 June 21, 2011 by dstergiou

Good luck with that. The big problem is not the riots, is the strikes

Which means, be prepared to:

* Not be able to return to Sweden because the flights are cancelled due to air traffic controller strike

* Sweat like pig because the power company workers are on strike and the country is experiencing blackouts

* Not be able to visit famous monuments (Acropolis included) because the monument's guards are on strike and are keeping the monument closed

* etc

As far as it concerns the cheap prices, i would say that they are not that cheap anymore. The recent events in Egypt and Libya routed a lot of tourists to Greece, so the prices are NOT going down, despite the crisis

For the record, i am Greek, moved to Sweden 3 years ago. So i have first hand experience of the strikes / mess and i really know what i am talking about!
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