Tourism up, spending down

Painting of what is now Kotzia Square in Athens showing the original National Bank of Greece building. This is not the Bank of Greece referred to in the post.

Painting of what is now Kotzia Square in Athens showing the original National Bank of Greece building. This is not the Bank of Greece referred to in the post.


Most store-keeps we spoke to around town during the summer said that there were tourists but they weren’t spending any money. The Bank of Greece has made that assessment official. Figures from January through July indicated a sharp drop in spending by foreign tourists all over Greece. The most remarkable figure released was a 8.9% drop in spending in July. Compared to what? The article (link) doesn’t say exactly but let’s assume the Bank is comparing figures from the same period last year.

And these are foreign tourists, not Greeks. How does the BOG make these calculations? One suggestion is by credit/debit card information electronically collected from ATMs and in-store card payment which might be the only way of telling who is who.

During the summer shrugging merchants round town said things will be better in September. This yearning translates to “September brings a different class of freely spending visitors to the island”. Did they show up this year and, more importantly, did they spend?

The postage stamp features a painting by the German painter Johannes Rabe, of whom there is not much available information.There were a lot of German painters touring Athens and environs at that time perhaps brought in by Otto, the Bavarian King of Greece.

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