Guardian: The history of Greek tourism through posters
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Guardian: The history of Greek tourism through posters

Guardian presents to its readers the history of Greek Tourism, as Greece has long been one of Europe’s most alluring destinations. Ten posters are presented, marking 100 years of what is now the Greek National Tourism Organisation, highlight its winning combination of culture, charm and sunshine.

Read below Guardian’s article:

1. In 1922, under the heading Independent Travel without Trouble, Thomas Cook’s Traveller’s Gazette begins ‘Let us suppose one is desirous of taking wife or family for a tour on the continent …’

2. In 1936, the Greek National Tourism Organisation is abolished by prime minister Ioannis Metaxas. He orders all houses on the Cycladic islands be whitewashed – for hygiene but also because he believed it made them more picturesque.

3. In 1941, tourism is transferred to Greece’s ministry of national economy, where a directorate of spa towns and tourism is created, despite the second world war raging. At the end of the war, a secretariat general for tourism is established.

4. This 1949 poster is from the time of the Marshall Plan, which provided US aid to Europe after the second world war. A supreme council for tourism is set up – but Greek finances are in disarray: ‘Since the release of Greek territory from enemy occupation, the monetary system is in a state of confusion,’ notes the Thomas Cook Continental Timetable.

5.By 1955, foreign tourist numbers to Greece have reached 200,000 – a five-fold increase in five years. The average stay of the visitors is one week.

6.In 1967, a Greek military junta – the ‘Regime of the Colonels’ – came to power. For the first time, tourism numbers decline – by about 14% – though they rebound the following year. In the UK, the government imposes a £50 limit on the allowance for British citizens travelling abroad.

7.Greece is one of the first destinations to be chosen by Britannia Airways for its new Boeing 737 jet, with charters from Luton to Athens. In 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy marries the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis on the Ionian island of Skorpios.

8. In 1980 there is evidence budget travel is flourishing, with the publication of Europe: a Manual for Hitch-hikers. It says: ‘Greece is one of the most beautiful countries on earth to get stranded for a few hours.’Greece joins the EU in 1981, and the latest James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, features the monasteries of Meteora.

9.In 1990 visitor numbers hit nine million for the first time, with some tourists inspired by the movie Shirley Valentine, released the previous year. Cephalonia features in Louis de Bernières’ 1994 novel Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, about the Italian and German occupation of Greece in the second world war.

10.Greece win the 2004 UEFA European Championship, beating the hosts Portugal in the opening group match and again in the final. The following month, Athens hosts the Olympic Games. Visitor numbers to Greece are now more than 13 million.

Source: Guardian