The International Writers Magazine: Travel
The Greeks rally in support of tourism; Up with Greece!
I have been traveling to Greece for over twenty years and own a travel company that takes women and couples on luxury tours of Greece and the Greek Islands. The past three years have been particularly difficult on Greece but there is no better time to visit than now.
Even though the entire country is undergoing hardship, the results are the opposite of what one would think. While the Greek people are suffering a dramatic loss in their income, they are working harder than ever to make every tourist’s stay a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Service is spectacular, sincere smiles and concern for the tourists are obvious, political conversations are exciting, and of course, the beauty of this ancient country never changes.
In the past two years I have had several opportunities to take the dramatic, state of the art metro to the square in front of Greek Parliament where the news media is encamped. This is the only demonstration location in the entire city of Athens. People in wheelchairs, mothers with baby carriages, students and old people alike, peacefully demonstrate for only an hour and then go home. The few anarchists that copy what violence they see on international news are the ones that get on international news.
Maybe four or five are arrested and they are always the same few. Guns are against the law in Greece. When they celebrated a national holiday the oranges were picked from the trees in the square the evening before in case anyone got any ideas of throwing them!
Of course there is concern of what will happen to the economy. But Greeks do not complain. They get smaller apartments, they move in together, they share their meals, they give of their savings to those more in need. They stand together and recommend their friends, neighbors and family members for jobs. But most of all, they keep their fabulous sense of humor. They go out, they socialize and appreciate where they live.
||They know it is paradise on earth and very rarely vacation outside their own country. Young people are beginning to stay in Greece and contribute their international educations to the economy. They promote a philosophy of global business, social networking, and new technology — the very business models that will become the building blocks of the future. As proof of their commitment to their country, young Greeks living outside their country have started a brilliant new campaign called “Up with Greece.”
This organization of young business people has already raised $20,000 for a billboard in Times Square, NYC, to promote Greece Tourism.
I have found that the beauty, the romance, the history of this glorious country of Greece is attractive to people of all ages and that’s why the Gods and Goddesses called it home.
Even now, my time in Greece is like no other. Yours can be too.
© erica eliz July 2012
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