All Inclusive Packages to Greece
The situation in Greece is very grim, with economic output more than 20% below its 2007 level and one in four workers unemployed. The Syriza party which won power on 26th January was reported to be considering banning all-inclusives. Tsipras, now Prime Minister, had said in early December, that “We don’t agree with establishing an ‘all-inclusive’ resort model, which to a great degree cuts off tourism from local economies” and he was reported as favouring a growth in domestic tourism, difficult to achieve in a recession. Tourism employs one in five Greeks and accounts for a fifth of the economy, making it a political issue.
There is a growing market for all inclusive holidays and plenty of supply – banning them may merely result in the business being displaced elsewhere. Elena Kountoura, the new Greek tourism minister from the right-wing Independent Greeks party in Tsipras’s coalition, “There won’t be any action against all-inclusive holidays… “On the contrary, further upgrading the quality of these packages will boost and extend benefits in local markets and communities.”
Despite the recession in Europe and the fall of living standards across the EU the numbers of people taking holidays abroad has held up well. As a consequence of falling or stagnant living standards and the rise in the cost of heating and running a car household discretionary spend is under considerable pressure. It is a mark of how important an annual holiday has become, now seen by many in developed economies as a necessity, and by some as an entitlement. This is a major achievement by the industry – people now expect to take a holiday away from home, often abroad, and they will cut back on other spending when necessary to have that week or two away.