Tuesday, July 17, 2007

From the was this really a good idea department:

This summer easyCruise has brought their unique style of cruising to Greece, and by most accounts they are doing good business. To promote the cruises to their home-turf-market in the UK, easyCruise published the results of a survey taken by the Lonely Planet guidebooks. It turns out the average person in the 24 to 34 age group (easyCruise's prime market) doesn't know too much about Greece.

The good news is that they know where it's located. 94% knew that Greece is bordered by the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, and 92% knew that it shared a border with Turkey. But when it came to practical information needed for traveling in Greece, they began to get in trouble. 34% did not know that the Euro is now the currency of the country, and 88% did not know the word for "hello" in Greek. (A third of them thought the Spanish word for "hello," "ola," was Greek.) When it came to some background on Greece that would help their sightseeing, things were dismal there too. When asked to name as many of the 12 Greek deities as possible, 45% could not name any, and 10% could name only one. Only 28% knew that the Classic period of Greek history and culture was between the 6th and 4th centuries BC. (And that was a multiple choice question, where one choice was much earlier in BC, and one was AD.) They didn't fare much better with modern history. 78% did not know that the country's last dictatorship was from 1967 to 1974. (Again, it was multiple choice , with the other two choices being much earlier in the 19th and 20th centuries.) And only 4% of them knew the name of the current Greek prime minister.

98% did not recognize that Greece is considered the birthplace of wine; they just drink it.

There are two schools of thought on these results. One would have to wonder if it's a good idea for easyCruise to spend half a year in a place their market seems to have so little interest in that they would know so little about it. But the other is that they can fill their ship with people who would be eager to learn about a place about which they know so little.

Either way, Stelios knows the ship is full. He doesn't care why.