fbpx
Merck Foundation and African First Ladies marking World Cancer Day 2023 through 110 scholarships of Oncology Fellowships in 25 countriesRead more Supporting women leaders and aspirants to unleash their potentialRead more Fake medicines kill almost 500,000 sub-Saharan Africans a year: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reportRead more Climate crisis and migration: Greta Thunberg supports International Organization for Migration (IOM) over ‘life and death’ issueRead more United Nations (UN) Convenes Lake Chad Countries, Amid Growing Regional CrisisRead more 11 Disruptive Startups Selected for Cohort 3 of the Africa Startup Initiative Program (ASIP) Accelerator Program powered by Startupbootcamp AfricaRead more Africa Data Centres breaks ground on new Sameer facility in NairobiRead more Coffee with a human face: A union that improves livelihoods for Ugandan farmersRead more Trends Predicted to drive the retail industry in 2023Read more Vantage Capital exits Pétro IvoireRead more

Sunlit Greece seeks to lure Europeans amid winter energy crisis

show caption
The Greek government has launched a poster campaign targeting mainly European pensioners./AFP
Print Friendly and PDF

Dec 12, 2022 - 12:25 PM

ATHENS, GREECE — With most of Europe struggling with soaring energy costs, Greece has launched an initiative to put its mild winters to good use and attract sun-seeking travellers all year round.

The Mediterranean nation recorded November temperatures comfortably exceeding 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) — quite a draw for Europeans eager to save on heating bills that have rocketed in the wake of the war in Ukraine.

The Greek government has earmarked 20 million euros ($21 million) for a poster campaign targeting mainly European pensioners that could boost an economy where the travel sector represents 25 percent of annual output.

“Wanna feel 20 again?” says the poster featuring an elderly pair nibbling watermelon and sipping drinks on a yacht.

“With warm winter temperatures up to 20 degrees Celsius, Greece is the place to be,” it adds.

Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias, fresh from a tour of several European capitals including Paris and Berlin to promote the initiative, told AFP the government was working “on a plan to campaign for Greece 12 months per year”.

With northern European countries facing much longer and bitterly cold winters, “energy-wise there are many more needs than here in the south where the winter is mild” and shorter, he added.

“You live a great one or two months here enjoying your vacation and spending less than you would have spent staying at home,” Kikilias said.

The Florida of Europe? 

“In Greece, no German has to freeze,” top-selling German daily Bild wrote in September, while business daily Handelsblatt suggested the country could become “the Florida of Europe”.

Kikilias said there was a “tradition” among northern European travellers to winter in Spain and Portugal, but he urged holidaymakers eager for sun, sea and sand to “take a look at the eastern Mediterranean (too)”.

After two years of economically painful travel restrictions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, arrivals in 2022 could finish near the all-time high of 33 million tourists recorded in 2019.

By the end of September, 23.7 million people had holidayed in Greece, and the number of French, German and British visitors even topped 2019 levels.

TUI, the world’s largest tourism operator, earlier this year brought forward the launch of the tourist season because of high demand.

But tour operators have yet to take the plunge in the winter months.

For the time being, TUI does not offer organised trips to Greece from December to February, said Evangelos Georgiou, one of the company’s communications managers.

And German charter airline Condor only offers flights to Kalamata airport in the Peloponnese peninsula until the end of November.

Condor flights to Heraklion on the island of Crete and Rhodes will only resume at the beginning of April, according to spokeswoman Johanna Tillmann.

  • bio
  • twitter
  • facebook
  • latest posts

MAORANDCITIES.COM uses both Facebook and Disqus comment systems to make it easier for you to contribute. We encourage all readers to share their views on our articles and blog posts. All comments should be relevant to the topic. By posting, you agree to our Privacy Policy. We are committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion, so we ask you to avoid personal attacks, name-calling, foul language or other inappropriate behavior. Please keep your comments relevant and respectful. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected – when using Facebook comment system – your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below. If you encounter a comment that is abusive, click the “X” in the upper right corner of the Facebook comment box to report spam or abuse. You can also email us.