A decline in the visits of Bulgarian tourists reported hotel managers in northern Greece, the most preferred destination of visitors from Bulgaria. The results of the two months of May and June suggest that in Kavala the decrease is about almost 40% as compared with 2009, while on the Halkidiki peninsula - 10%. In their attempt to attract visitors, hoteliers from the town of Katerini, in cooperation with the Regional Administration of Pieria area are planning to invite to a visit a group of Bulgarian journalists hoping that in this way they will attract customers. In Kavala and on the island of Thassos hotel owners have undertaken significant discounts on the prices of the rooms. According to the chairman of the local union of hotel owners the prices are 5 to 30 percent lower than the past two years. On the more attractive Halkidiki peninsula 40 hotels have created a union against the crisis and have reduced the prices of room by 20%.
According to information of the National Statistics Institute in Bulgaria,the visits of Bulgarians in Greece in May have made a huge decline, despite many holydays. 73 thousand journeys have been carried out which is 57.8 percent less than the same period last year. As the main reason for this are considered strikes in the country.
Meanwhile, Minister of Culture and Tourism of Greece Pavlos Gerulanos announced that the country will pay the cost on the stay of tourists who were blocked in the country by strikes. The measure is undertaken in an attempt of the state to improve its image, which suffered severely from the ongoing national strikes and protests against stringent economic measures of the government. Tourism creates nearly 20% of the gross domestic product of Greece, however the bookings for the summer have dropped by 10 percent. According to the minister there has been an improvement, but it is still too early to make any accurate forecasts.