Europe needs swagger

Greece hikes tourist tickets in revenue bid

Those planning to revel in ancient Greek history should be prepared to shell out more cash, with popular tourist attractions set to double or even triple their ticket prices next year in a bid to boost government revenue.

Greece's Central Archaeological Council approved plans Tuesday to increase ticket prices across the country's main museum and archeological sites starting January 1.

Tourists visit Acropolis Hill in Athens, June 23, 2015.
Getty Images

The move has attracted ire from the Federal Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (FHATTA), which is now asking for a more gradual increase to ticket prices over three years in order to keep the country's tourism industry competitive.

Various media reports suggested famous sites like the Acropolis Museum in the capital of Athens would see prices rise from 12 to 20 euros ($22), and passes to the National Archaeological Museum creep up from 7 to 10 euros ($11). It was also reported that the hike would raise at least 21 million euros ($24 million) for the Greek government.

However exact prices and expected revenue were not immediately confirmed by the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, which said a press issue was slated for release later Thursday.

It comes as Greece looks to roll out new austerity measures after clinching a bailout deal with creditors earlier this year worth approximately 86 billion euro ($98 billion).

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Tourism accounted for 7 percent of Greece's total gross domestic product in 2014 at 11.8 billion euros ($13.4 billion), according to the World Travel and Tourism Council. That number is expected to grow 3.6 percent this year, and each year until 2025, when it's expected to amount to 7.9 percent of GDP.

The Greek tourism federation also raised concerns that the ticket increases will be piled on top of new sales taxes that are heaping pressure on hotels, tourist transport and catering.

"The Greek tourist offices have already absorbed the increase in the valued added tax... in the midst of the tourist season... and cannot afford to absorb these huge increases in fares," a translated version of the FHATTA press release stated.

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