Greek tourism takes a heavy beating


The strike by workers at the Acropolis and other archeological sites for ten days has been deemed “more damaging” to tourism than the riots themselves, a Greek tourism official has said.

“Let’s be clear, the country is not in the grip of terrorists — so far there has been neither victims nor violence against people,” Argyro Philli, the head of the Greek travel agents association, told AFP.

With tourism being Greece’s second biggest industry after shipping, Greek tourism leaders believe that the strike over wages by staff at the Acropolis is more detrimental to Greek’s tourism industry. As it is, the global economic crisis is posing a great threat for sales of summer packages.

According to published reports, the protests have taken a heavy toll on Greece’s second city, Thessaloniki, where more than 2,000 bookings have been canceled in the past week.

Meanwhile, as rioters and workers continue their protest for the 10th day, Greek President Karolos Papoulias underwent an emergency surgery. He was fitted with a pacemaker Monday and is reported to be recovering well amid the unrest that has crippled Greece.