Up to one million Romanian tourists are expected to vacation in Greece this year. But while the tourism industry has shown signs of recovery following the lifting of pandemic restrictions, holidaymakers will have to fork out more for the traditional souvlaki and will find that air conditioning is rationed.
Covid 19 restrictions
The good news is that the lifting of the Covid 19 restrictions is boosting tourism worldwide and Romania is no exception, according to a report by eToro analyst Bogdan Maioreanu.
Figures show that travel has resumed. Nearly one million people arrived in Romania in April 2022, a 189% increase compared to the previous year. The number of Romanians who traveled abroad also increased to 1.4 million which is an increase of 137%.
But while the tourism industry will recover to some extent, high inflation and high demand could make it the most expensive vacation of the past decade, the analyst said in his report sent Monday to Universul.net.
Vacations will be more expensive because food prices have already increased. Tourists in Greece are already seeing 30% more expensive souvlakis —the classic meal of grilled meat on a skewer wrapped in flatbread with salad and tzatziki – garlic yogurt with cucumbers. They now cost 3.30 euros each on average in and around Athens.
The reason is that meat, vegetables, bread and sunflower oil prices have all gone up. The Grill and Restaurant Union in Athens told Reuters the price of pork has risen 30% the last 12 months, while the price of sunflower oil generally imported from Ukraine has soared by 125% and electricity bills have doubled.
Food increased more than the 10.2% inflation rate, the highest spike in 28 years.
This year’s summer vacation may not be as comfortable either, as European countries, such as Greece are struggling to wean off Russian energy, impose air conditioning rules.
In the extreme scenario, particularly at the height of the tourist season, rolling power outages would be introduced on workdays.
The Greek government is discussing a plan that involves measures to cut electricity consumption and travel. Greece is also taking action that includes energy savings at a preventive level.
It will follow the model of Italy and Spain limiting the unnecessary use of air conditioners required to be adjusted to 26 to 27 degrees Celsius in the summer and the operation of lights and electrical appliances in public buildings.
Still, Individual booking rates for hotels are expected to rise this summer by 10-15 percent, said Grigoris Tasios, president of Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX).
The soaring energy and product prices are set to impact hotel costs by 25% which is an increase they cannot fully absorb.
According to one of the German tourism operators, the fastest-growing summer vacation destinations are Turkey, where the number of customers flying to Antalya surging by 480% compared to 2019, followed by Majorca (+140%) and Greece (+74%).
Ranked 14 in the European top of most expensive countries to visit, Greece lags behind Switzerland 2nd, France 3rd , Italy 11th and just ahead of Spain 16th. Turkey is ranked 41, behind Romania that is at 34.
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