Destinations

Greece Plans to Keep Stores Open on Sunday to Boost Tourism Spending

Jul 25, 2013 12:51 am

Skift Take

It’s a small move in the grand scheme of tourism strategies, but Greece needs all the extra profits it can get it.

— Samantha Shankman

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Dimitri Messinis  / AP Photos

Protesters holding a cross are silhouetted in front of the Parliament during a protest rally against plans by the government to extended Sunday opening hours, in Athens on Tuesday, July 23, 2013. Dimitri Messinis / AP Photos


Greece’s parliament has approved legislation to extend Sunday opening hours for stores, in an effort to boost spending by tourists and stimulate the crisis-hit economy.

Lawmakers voted Wednesday in favor of legislation allowing department stores to open on seven Sundays during the year and smaller, independent shops the right to open every Sunday. Earlier rules kept most stores closed.

Small business associations, left-wing opposition parties, and senior members of the Greek Orthodox Church strongly oppose the new measures. Store owners and the Greek Communist party staged demonstrations in central Athens late Tuesday.

Greece is expecting a boost to its key tourism industry this year. More than a million visitors arrived in the January-March period, a 4.6 percent increase from 2012, according to the Bank of Greece.

Copyright (2013) Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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