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Holidays help keep Greece afloat

- by Dabs Banner

Holidays in Greece are helping the country climb out of recession as visitors spend more hard earned cash on holiday treats.

Latest estimates from the Bank of Greece suggest that cash receipts from tourism will to most to limit damage to the economy in the second half of 2015.

Increased tourist arrivals and the incoming cash flow appear to have saved Greece from the depths of the recession.

According to the bank's weekly bulletin, Greece recorded an unexpected growth in holiday visitors in the second quarter and the upward trend in tourism in the summer months.

And figures from the Greek Alpha Bank says the number of incoming tourists in June 2015 grew by 12.4% compared to 13.7% in June 2014.

The number of tourist visitors to Greece and the Greek islands topped 3 million in June 2015, compared with 2.7million in the same month last year.

And the June holiday figures took the total in the first six months of 2015 up 20.8 % against 15.6% in the first half of 2014, itself a record year for holiday arrivals.

Travel receipts grew at a lower rate than 2014, up 8.2% to 7.56 million in the first half of 2015 again 9.6% last year but the injection of foreign cash has been vital in helping the government to balance the books this year despite the economic and social turmoil.

The Greek government has launched a series on initiatives this year to try a boost tourism against the backdrop of economic troubles and a seriously bad press.

One of the most successful has been a social media campaign called #lovingreece, launched by the Greek National Tourism Organization in July.

The #lovingreece campaign called on friends of Greece to express their love for the country by posting messages and photos on Visit Greece social media channels.

In the first 24 hours of its launch accounts on Facebook, G+, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest were deluged with posts of encouragement for Greece and Greek holidays.

According to Trendinalia, the #lovingreece campaign hit 24th spot on the most popular Facebook trends in just 24 hours.

Greece is also growing into a top destination for wedding celebrations with more holiday island resorts and boutique hotels offering wedding packages.

The UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper recently featured Greece as a top wedding locations saying: "wedding fantasies do not come more idyllic than those you can plan in Greece".

Santorini tops the charts for weddings at the moment with companies offering donkey rides to the church door, while the mainland resort of Monemvasia can trumpet weddings with a medieval fortress backdrop and the picturesque resort of Parga suggest a Venetian castle to host the ceremony.