Greeks priced out of vacation

Vacations are a midsummer night’s dream this year for a large portion of Greeks, as the high prices of services and holiday packages make it prohibitive for some to plan leisure trips even to nearby and relatively cheaper destinations. Costs remain high for Greek households, many of whom are cutting back on spending, not only on vacations and travel, but also on essentials like food.

This is reflected in a survey by the Research Institute for Retail Consumer Goods (IELKA), according to which one in two consumers declares they will not take a vacation this year. The same research captures another trend: the reduced vacations, as 32% state they will go away for fewer days.

Price hikes in categories of services and products directly connected to the summer getaways of Greek travelers are also reflected by data from ELSTAT that record the course of inflation in June. 

Compared to June last year, increases of 19.7% have been recorded for plane tickets, while the holiday package appears to be 12.7% more expensive. As far as hotels are concerned, prices are 12% higher than last year, while the focus of price increases is still food, and especially olive oil, whose prices compared to last June increased by almost 55%.

According to data from the Association of Passenger Shipping Enterprises (SEEN), although ticket price increases are zero compared to last year and the year before, the cost is high for a Greek family and in some cases even unaffordable. For a family of four to travel with a car from Piraeus to Rhodes return (without cabin) they need 845 euros.

Many consumers are cutting back this year not only on basic services but also on essential items, such as food. Therefore, 71% of consumers (against 75% in 2023) who participated in the survey said they have canceled entertainment expenses, such as eating out, vacations, travel etc.

However, beyond those expenses, which are considered a luxury for many, 55% (up from 54% in 2023) say they have cut back on food and grocery shopping overall. 

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