NEWS

Fewer Greeks going on vacation this year

The current crisis is forcing more Greeks to stay at home this summer. A new survey conducted by the Consumers? Institute (INKA) revealed that 62 percent of Greek consumers are not planning on taking a vacation this year, compared to 59 percent last year. The INKA survey of 530 consumers was conducted via telephone interviews during the June 27 to July 5 period.

During the interviews, 62 percent stated that they had no plans and did not believe they would go away this summer. The reasons given for this were financial woes and job insecurity (82 percent), work obligations (10 percent) and other reasons (8 percent).

The INKA report also notes that 72 percent of those that will be taking vacations will only be spending a few days away, staying in their own holiday homes or with relatives and friends. The survey found that 50 percent will be staying in properties that they own, 24 percent at relatives? or friends? houses, and 26 percent in hotels or holiday apartments.

The survey also points to the fact that families, as units, are spending less and less time together on vacation: This year, 46 percent will be going away for a week, 25 percent for 10 days, 23 percent for two weeks and 5 percent for 20 days, while only 1 percent will be escaping for 30 days.

Besides the current financial strains on Greek families, the INKA report noted that changes in society also affect summer vacations. A loosening in family bonds between parents and children, for instance, is one factor, while the lack of salary security is another.

Greeks are still avid sea lovers — 65 percent are spending their vacation by the sea — though mountain destinations are gaining ground this year with 35 percent heading for the hills, an increase compared to previous years. The report further notes that fewer Greeks (20 percent) are planning to go abroad this year.

According to the report, the minimum cost for a two-week vacation of a four-member family comes to 3,500 euros.