Registered: Mar 2007
02-16-12 06:20 PM
5.56pm: Despite all the angst between Athens and Berlin, travel agents are reporting an increase in inquiries from Germans wanting to visit the tourist-dependent country.
Helena Smith has the story:
Amazingly, the surge in enquiries has been made in the "last few days" and may well be a knee-jerk reaction German Euro parliamentarian Alexander Graf Lambsdorff exhorting his compatriots to visit Greece earlier this week.
A member of the German government's junior partner, the Free Democratic Party, the liberal MEP urged Germans to visit debt-stricken Greece "as soon as possible" because it desperately needed to see economic growth.
"Anyone who has ever considered going on holiday to Greece can now send a signal," he told Tuesday's edition of Hamburger Abendblatt."Every holidaymaker is a help to the country," he added, saying Germans should consider visiting Greece in the winter as its hotels tended to be full for only three months in the summer "so there's ample growth potential."
Germans have long topped the league tables of tourist arrivals to Greece (closely followed by UK visitors) although tour operators had reported a marked drop in holiday maker interest this year. "We've suddenly been flooded with calls of interest," said a travel agent in the Greek capital.
Perhaps European solidarity hasn't thrown in the towel after all.