NEWS

Greece for the Greek tourist

Greek holidaymakers are the least likely of EU citizens to travel outside their own country, but, when they do, most of them prefer to head for destinations beyond the European Union, the Eurostat agency found in its latest report on «How Europeans Go on Holiday.» The statistical service found that 56 percent of Greeks go on holiday. Of them, 95.5 percent choose to stay within the borders of their own country. But of the 4.5 percent who do venture abroad, 43.4 percent travel to another EU country while 56.6 percent range further abroad. The Portuguese take the least holidays (31.2 percent), while the Germans take the most, with 76.9 percent traveling annually. The report defined holidays as at least four overnight stays. Among those who preferred their own country for vacationing, second to the Greeks were the Spaniards (89.7 percent), the Portuguese (82 percent) and Italians (77 percent). Obviously, the sun and beaches have something to do with this, because following them were Sweden (69.9 percent), Finland (71.4 percent) and Britain (55 percent). In other countries, the majority left the country for their holidays. The Greeks were the only EU citizens in which the majority of travelers went beyond the EU’s borders. The study found that, as in the EU overall, the number of Greeks who took holidays abroad was higher in the 25-44 age group. Another notable factor was that Greeks jammed their holidays into the months of July and August, showing a concentration of 62.2 percent (when the next highest such concentration was Italy’s 54.9 percent). But the Greeks lead their EU partners in another important issue – 80 percent of them spend their holiday in private accommodation, in other words, their own country home or a family home in a village. Second in this area were the Portuguese, with 72.2 percent spending their holidays in private accommodation. Naturally, because of the islands, a greater number of Greeks (23.1 percent) took a ferry to go on holiday. A majority of Greeks, like most Europeans, used private vehicles for domestic holidays (56.9 percent), while 6.8 percent flew, 1.3 percent went by train and 11.7 percent by coach.