‘Americans are heaven for us’: the surge in US visitors throwing Greece a lifeline

Posted by on June 12, 2021 3:00 pm
Categories: Global Stories

Country confounds post-Covid predictions as transatlantic holidaymakers flood in ready to spend

A fresh wind blows down Adrianou. Seated in front of his rug store on the street that cuts through the heart of ancient Athens, Theo Iliadis takes in the scene. At 47, he’s seen “a lot of bad stuff” in recent years. The global pandemic couldn’t have come at a worse time for Greece, already gutted by prolonged economic crisis.

But barely a month after the tourist-dependent country opened its doors, the entrepreneur is in ebullient mood. There’s a glint in his eye and a lightness in the air of the carpet-stacked cavern behind him. “Americans are in town,” he smiles. “Business is good, the loom is good and I’ve got drinks on ice.”

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