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Greek Islands safe despite unrest

- by Archimedes

Greek Islands safe despite civil unrest.

Holidaymakers are welcome in the Greek Islands despite the recent spate of civil unrest on the Greek mainland. Tourist bosses have stepped in to reassure tourists that the Greek Islands are still an attractive and safe haven for a summer holiday in 2011. And the UK Foreign Office says in it's online advice to Greek Island holidaymakers that the overall level of the advice has not changed.

'There are no travel restrictions in place . . . Greek people are renowned for their hospitality. The Greek police are used to dealing with large numbers of foreign tourists, especially on the islands and do so in a low-key way.

An estimated 14.9 million people visited Greece and the Greek Islands in 2009, attracted by the guaranteed sunshine, beautiful beaches, clean seas and ancient sites.

 But tourism industry experts say they are seeing a drop of about 10-12% in bookings in 2011. With tourism accounting for about 15.5% of gross domestic product, Greece can ill afford to see a prolonged downturn.

Road closures, worker strikes and riots have rocked Athens but tourists say they have seen no evidence of unrest in the Greek Islands

An island visitor said: 'Protests are confined totally to the mainland and specifically Athens, with the islands being almost entirely unaffected, only experiencing the occasional 24-hour public-sector strike, which is not particularly unusual anyway.'

He added: 'In fact, on the islands, everyone is making extra efforts to show all who visit that the Greek islands are a perfect holiday destination. They want to counteract the negative media coverage.'

Along with Spain, Italy, France and Turkey, Greece is traditionally one of Europe's top five summer holiday destinations.

The Foreign Office website adds: 'Around 2.35 million British nationals visit Greece every year (Source: Civil Aviation Authority). Most visits are trouble-free but you should maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as you would in the UK.

Greece is a stable democracy, however, public protests are a standard feature of Greek political life. Take precautions for your personal safety and avoid public gatherings and demonstrations.'