Norwegians defy Greek turmoil

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Vacationing Norwegians don’t seem concerned about the political unrest and debt crisis in Greece. They’re booking Greek holidays like never before.

Beaches like this in the Greek islands keep luring Norwegians back, year after year. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Hotel prices at many popular areas in Greece have fallen by as much as 20 percent and Norwegians clearly recognize a bargain when they see one. Holidays on the Greek islands have long been a favorite destination for Norwegians, as well, and they clearly see no need to go elsewhere, reports newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN).

Around 280,000 Norwegians, reports DN, have booked holidays for this summer in Greece, which tops the list of destinations. Next in line is Turkey, with 271,000, followed by Spain with 139,000 bookings.

Star Tours, a major package tour operator in Norway, reports sales up markedly to destinations on Rhodes and Crete. Drammen-based tour operator Lilleput Reiser has sold around NOK 60 million worth of package tours to Greece this year. “We’re selling as least as many as last year,” Harald Gautneb of Lilleput Reiser told DN.

Neither Star Tours nor Lilleput Reiser has had a single cancellation because of fears over the unrest in Greece. “I’m certain Norwegians will be especially well-received this year,” said Gautneb, claiming the Greeks need tourists to come and spend money. “The Greeks are furious at their politicians, but they like us Norwegians.”

Views and News staff