(Greece) – Domestic tourism in Greece has been on the decline since 2008, shortly before Greece’s economic crisis started to make headlines. Over the years, it isn’t just the Greek government that has had to make changes to their budgets. The economic crisis is impacting the lives of people all over Greece. One of the places where Greeks have cut back is that they aren’t taking as many trips in their own country. New figures have just been released that show that Greeks have slashed domestic tourism spending by 64%.
The findings were published in a study that was released by theInstitute for Tourism Research and Forecasts, or ITEP, this Wednesday. The aim of the study was to show how the current economic climate in Greece has impacted domestic travel. In 2014, the study said that Greeks spent around 1.14 billion Euros on domestic vacations, compared to the 3.16 billion Euros that they spend six years prior when the recession first began. The organization only counted trips that were at least four nights long, and the number of trips declined by about 45.2%. These numbers are significant because tourism makes up a considerable part of the Gross Domestic Product in Greece.
It isn’t just Greek trips that were impacted. As a whole, Greeks stopped spending money on vacations while traveling abroad, too. In fact, the decline was even greater. In 2014, Greeks spend 72.2% less on trips outside of Greece than they were in 2008. In 2008, Greeks spend 1 billion Euros on these types of trips and in 2014, they spend only 293 million Euros. This actual number of trips taken declined during this time period by 51.6%.
Last year in 2015, Greek tourism reached record numbers because people started flocking to the country once again in search of cost-effective vacations. This year, the ITEP believes that this year’s numbers will far exceed that. They expect that tourism numbers will be somewhere in between 25 and 27 million by the time peak season ends in early fall.