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Favourite Greek holiday souvenirs

- by Dabs Banner

What tourists like to take home from Greece.

Everyone likes to pick up a souvenir to remind them of their holiday in the Greek Islands and almost every resort has its share of gift shops to cash in on the demand.

Items on offer can include anything from tourist knickknacks like key fobs and holiday postcards to hand-crafted works of art and the latest designer clothes and fashion accessories.

So it's interesting to see just what Greek holiday souvenirs tourists like to take home to remind them of their stay in Greece and the Greek Islands.

A survey by the Greek newspaper To Vima has revealed some surprising findings from questions put to owners of gift and souvenir shops.

According to shop traders it's not only 'I Love Greece' T-shirts and Hellenic key chains that end up in the suitcases when tourists fly home from holiday.

Some of the biggest sellers, they report, are not only the busts of the ancient Greek philosophers and writers such as Aristotle, Socrates and Homer but also statues of the ancient Greek gods such as Zeus and Poseidon.

Olive wreaths are popular, while some tourists even find room in their luggage bags for replicas of ancient helmets and Greek armoured figures.

Shop owners say tourists don't always pack their bags with traditional cheap souvenirs and are prepared to pay for quality items that will remind them of their visit to Greece once they get home.

But the survey comes against a background of tourists spending less money while on their Greek holidays with the average tourist spend well below that found in other popular holiday destinations in the Mediterranean.

Recent figures show visitors to the Greek Island spent an average of only €604 per head, down nearly two per cent on the previous year.

Rival holiday destinations like Spain and Turkey are attracting more free spenders than Greece despite a reputation for overcrowded beaches. Tourists on holiday in Spain for example spent an average €976 last year, a rise of nearly four per cent.

The figures put a damper on last year's successful season in Greece which saw just under 18 million visitors heading to Greece and the Greek Islands, a new record for the country and up more than 15% on 2012.