‘Poverty tourism’: Guardian slammed for $3,500 Greek vacation focusing on financial & refugee crises

‘Poverty tourism’: Guardian slammed for $3,500 Greek vacation focusing on financial & refugee crises
The Guardian has come up with a new form of Greek tourism. It's selling a "fascinating exploration" of the effects of the financial and refugee crises – for $3,500. The internet has more than a few things to say on the matter.

The trip has been organized by the British newspaper, exclusively for its readers. It's being pitched as an "educational and informative" tour of modern Greece, led by the newspaper's Greece correspondent Helena Smith and local journalist Manos Stefanakis.

At the cost of £2,500 ($3,500), British vacationers will seemingly get to gawk at a poorer EU nation and "look at the lessons that can be drawn for the rest of Europe."

The seven-day tour includes a firsthand look at the refugee crisis in Samos, where "small boats from Turkey bring their human cargo from Palestine and Syria in the dark to the island." If that's a bit too heavy for a weary traveler, never fear. Vacationers get "time off for lunch in the island's capital Vathy."

The notion of refugee- and financial-crisis tourism has struck more than a few chords on the internet. “As if Greece hasn't been through enough without a bunch of Guardian readers trouncing around on safari,” Twitter user John Johnston wrote. “Alternatively, save your £2.5k and go and visit Greece like a normal person and help support local businesses…”

Another Twitter user, Lenio Capsaskis, referred to the vacation as “poverty tourism.” He added that it was a “pretty bleak” idea to come out of The Guardian. Meanwhile, @ks_mikey referred to the package as “misery tourism.” Another called it a “poverty porn holiday.”

“Making profit from advertising misery in #Greece by the @guardian can only be described in one word: ghastly…” Twitter user Electra Tsakalidou wrote.

Another person also had to rub her eyes over the idea, saying the country surely needs tourism, but “not this kind.” She added that Greece is “rich in many things – to suggest that its refugee & economic crisis are its most marketable features is so deeply wrong and unjust to Greeks and all refugees in the country."

Meanwhile, Guardian readers await the next vacation package to be sold by the newspaper. It remains unknown whether that will be a tour of devastation in Yemen, or a firsthand look at displaced families in Syria.

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