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Zante holiday season roundup

- by Liz Waugh

Zante holiday season roundup.

As the last of the Zante summer holiday holiday tourists flew out last week hotel owners and travel agents have been looking back over a bumpy year.

Although Greek Island holidays held up well in 2011, despite the economic problems, holiday visitors kept a tighter grip on their cash than in previous years.

Hotel owners say that although Zante holiday arrivals were up 5% on 2010, the average spending dropped, with many hotel owners slashing prices.

Apartment owners in the Greek resort of Alykes described the 2011 holiday season as 'modest' despite an increase in visitors this year.

The total holiday market dropped dramatically as Greek tourists stayed away when they were hit by salary and pension cuts from the government.

Holiday tourism is still the fastest growing sector in the beleaguered Greek economy, accounting for 15% of the gross domestic product.

It also accounts for many jobs in Greece with one in five now employed in the tourism sector in one way or another.

Greece is a now 12th in the world tourist table and so far in 2011 a total of 10,339,553 tourists enjoyed holidays in Greece and the Greek islands and pumped around 10 billion euros into the Greek economy.

Greek holidays account for 1.6% of global market and 3.15% of the total European holiday market with the highest number of tourist holiday arrivals coming from Germany and the UK.