The Agora => Greek News => Holidays in Hellas => Topic started by: Maik on Monday, 29 January, 2018 @ 12:51:33

Title: A paradise called Greece
Post by: Maik on Monday, 29 January, 2018 @ 12:51:33
"Once upon a time there was a paradise called Greece!"

A long but (IMO) interesting read:

Greek Tourism in the 21st Century: The unseen and insulting side of Greek Tourism that hurts
Title: Re: A paradise called Greece
Post by: TonyKath on Monday, 29 January, 2018 @ 15:37:39
Interesting but I thought it was a bit overstated.  Possibly being a Kef regular I'm protected from the worst, as Kef is a large island and development is by and large limited and the Greek character predominates still.  The same could be said about Lesvos for instance.  No I've never been to Mykonos, or Faliraki for that matter.  Don't think I would want to either. And it's a long time since we went to Zakynthos.  The writer seems to think that fishermen switching to beach taxis on Skiathos are ruining the island - keeping them on the island more like.  She regrets that tourists are not buying Greek made cutlery, ceramics or table cloths.  Tourists don't buy that kind of stuff anywhere. That was a view of domestic Greek tourism about 40 years ago.  Yes, the tat that tourists buy is made outside Greece, when Greeks could be making it but a lot of our manufacturing industry has disappeared eastwards as well. The main thing the article misses is that Greece is mostly the mainland, not the islands, where most beach tourist areas are used by Greeks with the exception of Sivota which is mentioned and a few other places.  And most of Greece is not on any tourist trail - most of it is in fact highly mountainous and still difficult to reach.  If Greece is spoilt it's more from the politicians who managed to bankrupt the place.  For politicians add Greek/EU as takes your fancy. 

BTW I didn't realise Lefkada had a "wafer supply" problem.   ;)

Title: Re: A paradise called Greece
Post by: Ian_E on Monday, 29 January, 2018 @ 22:17:27
Well said Tony  :btu:
Title: Re: A paradise called Greece
Post by: Maik on Tuesday, 30 January, 2018 @ 13:33:52
I didn't realise Lefkada had a "wafer supply" problem.   ;)

A-ha, you've never tried buying an ice cream there!

I thought it was interesting that the article was written by a tourist professional. I think the author tries to take a balanced view between Greece as a museum, locked in a 50's time warp, and uncontrolled 'development'.

"...the next step of the development will be the stagnation stage following by the decline stage. At stagnation stage peak tourist volumes will be reached and Greece will no longer be fashionable or a “paradise”. The extensive facilities that were built will no longer be used. This results in a decline of the prices and eventually of the product quality.

The other scenario is to support tourism that will maintain a balance among the traveler, the natural and social environment. It is imperative that the concept of sustainability will become familiarized by the Greek societ

We've seen that resorts (e.g. Poros) can be the place to go, then become yesterday's fashion. The same could happen to Greece as a whole. I think that's the point the article is trying to make.

The way I read it, the author has few "regrets that tourists are not buying Greek made cutlery, ceramics or table cloths", but does regret that the Greek tourist industry doesn't have the benefit of a Greek manufacturing industry to supply the hotels, tavernas and bars with the glasses, plates, cutlery and tablecloths necessary to serve the tourists - apparently it's (largely) imported.

Although it's easy to miss, I think part of the theme of the article is how the tourism industry has taken off like an inflated balloon that's just been popped... an uncontrolled whizz to dizzying heights to be followed by the inevitable fall back to earth.

I don't see that the author is against progress, rather is cautioning that destroying the natural environment isn't progress:

"We need to wipe out our old Greek Tourist images of "Ancient Greeks with shields and torches", "Retsina" and "Zorbas", as well as the predominant decades of obsession that the sun and the sea is enough to create a tourist product. We need to raise our voice to the dialogue on how our country will use tourism with respect for the environment and people in a difficult time for the economy, in a society that puts unequal burdens, and often projects a false dilemma of "development or environment"? Crisis will pass, but whatever will be destroyed now it will be destroyed forever."