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Greek hotel prices fall

Hotel prices fall on Greek Island holidays.

Tourists are looking for cheaper Greek island holiday deals as hotel prices fall across Greece.Latest reports show the cost of holiday hotel room in many of the popular Greek islands have dropped by as much as 20%. The only Greek islands to have seen hotel room rates go up this year are the up-market Greek holiday islands of Mykonos and Santorini which have seen prices stable or slightly higher.

Corfu, one of the most popular Greek islands with UK holidaymakers, has seen the biggest fall with 2012 average hotel room prices down 20% on last year.

Hotel prices in Zante have fallen 12% while Crete has seen a 7% drop, according to a survey of hotel prices on nine of the major Greek island holiday destinations.

On top of the country's economic problems, Greece has been troubled by waves of strikes in protest at economic austerity measures.

Although mainly confined to the capital of Athens, protest strikes have resulted in cancelled flights and ferry trips to many of the Greek islands.

Tourists are also concerned at the rising costs of fuel and food which has an effect on taxis fares and taverna prices.

Holiday visitors to the Greek islands are highly unlikely to feel the impact of street protests in mainland cities but the negative image may have a serious effect on tourist travel plans this year.

Despite the problems, Greece saw a rise of 10% in tourism last year with some islands, such as Rhodes, boasting a 20% rise in summer visitors.

According to economic reports, tourism contributes about 16% of Greece's €230 billion economy and employs 746,000 people, or roughly one fifth of the country's 4.26 million workforce.

With about 15 million foreign visitors to Greece and the Greek Islands each year, it is one of Europe's top destinations and accounts for 3.2 percent of total European holiday market. More than half visit Greece between July and September.

About 14% of Greek Islands tourists are from Germany and 12% from the UK. Along with France, Italy and the US they are the top markets in terms of cash income.

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