Cancel Your Vacation to Greece? No!
Halkidiki is a Greek semi-island of stark contrasts. Kassandra, the first prong, is a hedonistic paradise. A few hours' drive away lies Sithonia, the second prong, offering small fishing villages and empty, picturesque beaches dotted across lush mountains.
But there is one common thing you can see on both prongs – even though tourism has taken a hit, there are lots of Bulgarians, they are welcome and feel better than ever.
True, bookings to Greece are lower than in previous years as German tourists fear hostility. But despite the uncertainty about the outcome of Sunday's Greek parliamentary election and what it may portend, Bulgarians are coming in droves.
The country has been rocked by months of anti-austerity demonstrations. The media has been flooded by stories, which surely give German tourists planning a vacation in Greece, the creeps.
But Bulgarians, quite used to living in financial and political crises, don't give a damn about it. And with good reason. If you live on the Balkans, you know that guests are welcome at any time. Especially if the guests pay and times are tough.
Hotel reservations on popular holiday destinations such as Corfu and Crete are down by up to 50% compared to the same period before last month's indecisive election, according to the Hellenic Hotel Federation.
But prices are down too. This has made Corfu, Crete, Santorini, Zakynthos and Lefkada, until recently too luxurious destinations for most Bulgarians, accessible.
Bulgaria's tourist moguls call it dumping as many Bulgarians drop the coast of their home country and go Greece. In fact this is the true benefit for all foreign tourists.
This is the true benefit for Bulgarian tourists too, rather than the imaginary uplift from the imaginary "influx of Greek business".
At least for the summer of 2012.
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I know many Romanians who now come to Bulgaria for their beach, winter-ski, and rock-climbing holidays, simply because Romania has a problem with the greed factor, and has priced themselves out for even their own citizens..
Does this also explain why Bulgarians would travel to Greece for some sunshine? I personally don't think so, but also don't know exactly how cheap Greece has become.. The Bg coast is not expensive, so paying the costly travel to Greece and suffering their bad food would seem to be for those who don't worry about these things..
Cancel a vacation to Greece? YES !! I live at a fine Bg beach !!