Social tourism in Greece: A Brief History of Development from the Interwar Years to the Covid-19 Era

Kakoudakis, Konstantinos and Papadoulaki, Katerina (2021) Social tourism in Greece: A Brief History of Development from the Interwar Years to the Covid-19 Era. In: Social Tourism: Global Challenges and Approaches. Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI), Oxfordshire, pp. 5-17. ISBN 9781789241211

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This study presents and critically discusses the development of social tourism in Greece, from the interwar years until the present day. The chapter first sets the discussion within the context of the country’s turbulent political, social and economic background, throughout most of the past century, which has exercised significant influence on the development of Greek tourism in general, and social tourism specifically. It then identifies and presents two main phases of social tourism development, highlighting important initiatives and key players that contributed to the incremental evolution of social tourism programmes in Greece, and also events that impeded their implementation and smooth running. Specific emphasis has been given to the past four decades, since this time period has largely shaped the contemporary form of Greek social tourism programmes. Therefore, the chapter explicates the close linkages between the establishment of the modern Greek welfare state in the early 1980s, and the development of social tourism as we know it today. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion on the developmental process of contemporary Greek social tourism over time, and the important socioeconomic implications of its current practice in the aftermath of the Greek financial crisis, and in the midst of the refugee crisis in Europe, and the Covid-19 pandemic.

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