The Upside of the Downturn in Greece and Beyond

When countries face economic struggles, the silver lining can often be a boost in tourism. Exchange rates become more favorable towards visitors, and local businesses are more willing to make deals.

Fox News has a list of top-value destinations for 2012, and Greece, which is battling a massive debt crisis, features prominently. The report says that Greece's hotel prices fell 4 percent across the country from 2010 (an average room now goes for $150 per night), and that rates sank 15 percent to $125 in Athens.

The Malta Independent Online is reporting that growth in visitor numbers is up by 14 percent in Greece, and that other EuroZone countries are also seeing a boost in numbers: 11 percent in Cyprus and Portugal, by 9 percent in Italy and by 8 percent in Spain, both of which have recently seen governmental overhauls.

On the flipside, German tourism numbers are also on the rise. According to, the figures from September 2011 show that the country had the best figures since it became a unified country more than 20 years ago. So far, the country has seen a 6 percent increase over the previous year.

And as our own George Dooley posted earlier today, IATA is seeing international air growth, particularly to Europe. "Despite the euro-zone crisis, the North Atlantic and intra-European passenger segments have been the strongest performers over the past year. The driver of this performance is most likely business-related travel generated by the strong export performance of the Northern European economies," IATA said.

Time will tell which countries will come out on top in 2012, of course, but as the financial scene in Europe rolls towards some kind of stability, the appeal of different destinations will change and shift as well.


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