Now get this for your daily dose of unbelievable Greece tourism desperation. Greece’s ministries of Defense, Culture, and Tourism have now signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to promote military tourism. Given the government’s outrageous PR campaigning on everything from vaccine rollout to hilarious Summer 2021 bookings bets, I guess we should expect gladiatorial games and human sacrifice tourism next.
When I read the news Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Culture & Sports Minister Lina Mendoni and Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis agreed to coordinate actions for the promotion of military tourism in Greece, my first reaction was disbelief. And then I recalled another story today about remote islanders being promised 700,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccine jabs so TUI cruises can offload throngs of budget travelers soon. But the culture minister? Really? Wow.
The story on this military junta travel value New Democracy is peddling speaks of Military tourism as a relatively new but rapidly growing niche. But hey, haven’t tourists interested in war monuments always been a thing? I mean, what is the Minister of Defense going to offer here? F-16 flybys or live-fire exercises to entertain travelers? And no, there isn’t any other news from around the world on war tourism being the new trend. And this is why the announcement is just weird.
I read earlier today that less than 10% of Greek hotels have opened since May. And I cannot even list here the number and variety of marketing campaigns Theoharis has unleashed to try and drive the touristic herd here. “Blue Freedom,” the insane plan to vaccinate tiny cruise destinations instead of old folks who are high risk, is something out of a Stephen King novel. The constant lame-brained prophesying of touristic waves hitting Greece’s shores? And news Greek banks are inches from defaulting tons of non-producing loans just makes the whole mess slimier for me. Isn’t it clear 2021 is headed for legendary bankruptcy status?
If the Greek leadership could, I guess they’d direct Defense Minister Panagiotopoulo to conduct piracy operations in order to divert cruise ships to Santorini instead of the Caymans or Mallorca! Personally, I think Greece demanding reparations from Germany over World War 2 atrocities would be more productive. But, given the emergency travel trend, I guess we can expect sex tourism to be the next big draw for Greece. Only I wonder which ministers Theoharis will loop into that campaign?