Why cancelling your holiday is the wrong kind of Greek exit

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Martin Moodie
Martin Moodie is the Founder & Chairman of The Moodie Report.

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This is the only kind of Greek exit I want to see this Summer. I’m in Athens for a fleeting weekend visit and getting a taste, literal and metaphorical, of what this wonderful country has to offer.

Alas some 800,000 or so tourists this year won’t get to share the same experience. That’s the ballpark number I was told over dinner last night who have cancelled their holidays to Greece in recent weeks, thus inflicting more economic pain on a country whose people, I suggest, have suffered enough.

I remember talking to Dufry CEO Julián Díaz a few years ago after his company had bought Greek travel retailer Hellenic Duty Free Shops. The economic situation was bad at the time and I asked him if he was worried. His answer was sanguine – Greece’s attractions, historical, cultural and natural would always be here he said. There would always be warm sunshine, great food, magnificent beaches and islands and, not least, the warm-spirited Greek people.

Nothing has changed since then except the depth of Greece’s economic woes. But abandoning it as a tourist destination on the basis of often sensationalist and frequently inaccurate media headlines is in my view at best short-sighted and at worst callous.

Next weekend I will return to Greece, this time not on a weekend business trip but on my annual holiday. I will stay on Rhodes, Halki and the incomparable Symi and bask in the beautiful simplicity of it all. I refuse to even countenance a change of destination and I suggest more people do the same, helping this country’s people get back on their feet.

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Dinner by the sea in Athens with Adil Raihani of Vienna Airport; Elena and Angie Galifa, bloggers extraordinaire (www.coolurstyle.com), plus Agora Trading’s Pantelis Velentzas and Panagiotis Madamopoulos-Moraris.

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  • Jassu Martin

    What a great blog 🙂

    Like yourself was in Greece last week, saw Dufry’s great Swarovski shop-in-shop in Spata Extra Schengen, exclusively published in The Moodie Report (thank you!); enjoying the best of our great partners’ hospitality on the sea-side (efcharisto poli, Maro and Manos).

    The Olive Tree at Dufry’s great Greek gourmet shop is the right & fitting symbol for the Greek people’s resilience and sturdiness! They will never give in!

    Peter