When Stelios Zmpanakis left the company GreeceWhen the central banker tried his luck in a boat race, friends and family begged him to reconsider.
Nine years later, he spends summers on the 53-foot yacht Ikigai. This yacht is named after the Japanese concept of finding happiness through a meaningful life.
His week-long yacht vacation trips to the lesser-known Greek islands of Milos, Sifnos, Serifos and Kythnos were fully booked until October.
“The demand is insane,” said Zombanakis. He recently walked barefoot across the teak-panelled deck to adjust the sails and check the instrument panel, as his boat passed the ancient temple of Poseidon perched on a cliff to the south. Athens.
Tourism around the Mediterranean is booming. Pandemic downturn than many expected, aided by strong US dollar and inadvertent demand by Europeans to find beaches after years of COVID-19 travel restrictions The recovery from was strong, long queues, canceled flights and lost luggage. It was held in many European airports this summer, but not in Greece.
“People after COVIDAfter two years of frustration, he probably set aside some money and decided he needed a vacation,” Zombanakis said. “And I think the quality has also improved because of the increased income from the budget they are willing to spend…and this has helped Greece a lot.”
Greece is about to break the record for annual income from tourism. Portugal is also aiming for a full recovery, but late summer data points to Spain. Italy And Cyprus will end the year just short of pre-pandemic visitor levels.
The recovery, which has benefited the economies of southern Europe, has also softened the continent’s trend towards recession brought on by the prolonged disruption caused by high energy prices, the war in Ukraine and the pandemic.
“Countries such as Greece, Italy and Spain have actually created a lot of resilience over the summer … the tsunami coming from the cost of living crisis and the energy Lorenzo Codogno, Chief Economist at LC Macro Advisors and Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics, said:
Europe’s Mediterranean coast also offers safe and culturally interesting destinations, but the good news may not last long.
According to new projections from the International Monetary Fund, economic growth in the 19 countries that use the euro currency will slow to 0.5% in 2023 from a 3.1% increase this year.
greece, italy, Portugal Spain and Spain have the highest debt levels in the Eurozone relative to the size of their economies and are also facing rising borrowing costs.
Stephen Rooney, a senior economist who specializes in tourism at Oxford Economics, said tourism-dependent countries will ultimately see their industries thrive next year due to a cost-of-living crisis caused by high inflation and high energy prices. He said he would be hit hard.
“We expect to struggle with these challenges as we move into the final quarter of the year and into 2023,” he said. “We do not expect travel The recovery will stall in 2023, but we expect it to slow somewhat in 2023 in line with the general economic slowdown before picking up again in 2024.
In Athens’ historic Plaka district, even in the mild late October, tourists flocked to the narrow streets, flocked to the ice cream stands and stopped at the shops selling leather bags. jewelryhats, souvenirs.
Vahan Apikian, co-owner of Loom Carpets, folded and stacked carpets and placed shoulder bags for customers.
“Business is going very well. We had more visitors than in 2019, which was a record year. This year was even better,” he said.
As the days get shorter and the outlook for the European Union economy dims, Greece and other southern member states have renewed their nationwide efforts to set the year holiday It is hoped that hiking trails, rock climbing and visits to historic churches will help mitigate the decline in winter arrivals.
But year-round tourism also exposes shortcomings in government planning and coordination capacity, says a senior policy analyst at the Athens-based Institute of Regulation, who advises governments in Southern Europe and the Middle East on policy reforms. said Panagiotis Karkatthuris, who advised him.
“It doesn’t make much sense to advertise a path to a historic monastery that closes at 3pm, or to take an elderly person to a destination where the road is bad and there is no access to a hospital… sightseeing It will expose all the weaknesses of the regime,” he said.
This earnings windfall winterhe argued, we need to fund continued government aid for struggling businesses and households rather than go for long-term improvements.
“Things like wealth-generating tourism are definitely positive,” he said. “But why money is spent—that’s another conversation. ”
📣 Follow us for lifestyle news Instagram | twitter | | Stay up to date with Facebook and the latest updates!