The 2012 tourist season didn't start off like that though...
Official and unofficial campaigns by groups and individuals in Greece and abroad, aimed at bringing tourists back to Greece this year, were everywhere in the social media, attempting to counter the negative images being beamed by the media around the world.
The campaign above, launched by the UP Greek Tourism team and crowd funded by people like you and me, was particularly successful we are glad to say, and after its stint in New York, moved on to Washington!
One of the biggest selling points that we could all promote with surety, is that Greece has remained one of the safest destinations in the world.
Hermes on Aegina
Folli-Follie's Crazy for Greece Campaign
Greece may be going through anunprecedented economic crisis but thankfully this has not affected the beaches, the sea or the sun, and this attracts people from all over the world.
The list of international and Global Greek celebrities, who ignored the doomsday predictions and added
Patmos is the same island that Julia Roberts decided would house her dreams for a Greek Island getaway home…
Rumours a couple of years ago, even had US President Barack Obama planning a visit to the Hanks’ Antiparos retreat!
Who else was or is here? Let’s start with our Global Greeks, well at least the ones we have heard of recently! Pappas Post publisher Gregory Pappas, a regular Mykonos visitor was in Athens earlier in the summer and came again in September, Greek Canadian Greek food experts Peter Minaki aka Kalofagas and Sam Sotiropoulos aka Greek Food are visiting right now, as is Greek American actress Anthoula Katsimatides who is in Nisyros and CBS Journalist Toula Vlahos who is in Paros. Greek-American presenter/showwoman Maria Menounos and her family also popped over to Greece, not for the Marathon this time, but for a wedding.
Jennifer's ex, on the other hand, Brad Pitt, with Angelina Jolie, also known as Brangelina, and family, were in Pylos in July, took off to London for the Olympics and are reportedly back on their favourite
De Niro fell in love with Santorini too – can’t blame him - and is reportedly looking for a house there.
Interviewed against a magnificent blue Aegean backdrop by fellow celebrity and Global Greek from France, showman Nikos Aliagas, De Niro and Travolta told us how safe it is and how much they loved
Apart from our semi-permanent Troika visitors and the usual EU politicians and FINMINS, in July, welcomed ex-President Bill Clinton who headed the Hellenic Initiative delegation of mainly Global Greek businessmen like Dow Chemicals CEO and President, Andew N Liveris and financier John Calamos who are interested in helping get the country on its feet as well as in investing in Greece, and expressed his utmost confidence in the country, as did President Shimon Peres of israel who is here on a 3 day State visit, as we write. He assured us we have a great future ahead of us!
Not bad at all for a little country in crisis!
We even had a 'Bollywood' wedding on Mykonos... something entirely different for the island. We loved it when we heard that Dubai-based Indian businessman Sagar Shewakraman and journalist Faarah Mehta decided to hold their wedding in Mykonos, in September and flew in all their guests for the occasion. Blue and white turbaned gentlemen and sari-clad ladies danced the night away, enjoying the unique hospitality Mykonos is famous for... Rumour has it that it cost around 2 million... part of that going into the Greek economy...sooner or later!