OPINION

Upgrading Greece’s tourism

When we talk about moving away from «cheap tourism» and offering a higher level of service, this should not become an excuse for cranking up prices or profiteering. The responsible authority should finally explain to us why a tourist visiting the infamously expensive Vienna will be charged around 2 euros for an espresso while the same refreshment would cost him 3.50 euros in most Athenian squares. And how is it that one can enjoy a selection of appetizers followed by another two courses and house wine in most Italian tourist resorts for between 12 and 15 euros per head while visitors to our Aegean islands are charged the same for a pork chop, salad and a beer? Of course, this is not a recipe for targeting a higher class of tourist. It is simple fraud and profiteering which gives our country a bad name and puts tourists off from ever visiting us again. Someone should explain to our «businessmen» (whether they be restaurant owners, cafe managers or hoteliers) that they cannot hope to get back the money they may have lost the previous year or spent on renovating their properties in just one season. Their long-term survival depends upon their good name (established by evaluating the services they offer in respect to the prices they charge). And even though we Greeks have learned to blame everything on the state, it is up to us – businessmen and customers alike – to correct this situation.