UPPING THE ANTE Greece hikes prices
Posted on 10/16/2015 | About Greece
More than six million people arrived in Greece this year between January and June, attracted by the country’s historical sites, ruins and museums. The government describes the tourist visits as ‘unacceptably low’ not in regard to the number of visitors, but in regard to the admission prices paid at the attractions.
The Culture Ministry suggests that some entrance fees can be increased to help offset austerity measures imposed by international bailout creditors. Two hundred state museums will be affected as well as ancient Olympia, home of the original Olympic Games. Tours of Greece’s approximately 20,000 archaeological dig sites have been complimentary and will now have fees. The Syriza party, led by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras proposes that tickets for the Acropolis could go from €12 to €20 and other popular sites can double. Lysandros Tsilidis, the president of the federation of Greek travel agents, told the Guardian, “The value-added tax hikes on all goods and tourism services, as well as the announced increases to the ticket prices of museums and archaeological sites, burden the travel package so much that it will become uncompetitive in the end.”
The plan is to charge the new rate from April to November 2016, allowing a 50 percent discount for the rest of the year. Unemployed Greeks will be granted free admission. One wonders how they prove that.