“Live Like a Lifelong Tourist”? The Contradicting Realities of Finnish Offshore Service Workers in Athens

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-7635

Article | Open Access

“Live Like a Lifelong Tourist”? The Contradicting Realities of Finnish Offshore Service Workers in Athens

  • Johanna Lilius Department of Architecture, Aalto University, Finland
  • Dimitris Balampanidis Department of Geography, Harokopio University, Greece

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Abstract:  Contrasting the mass out-migration of the younger populace following the economic crisis in Greece and the simultaneous large inflow of refugees, the city of Athens has lately become an attractive place for tourists and lifestyle migrants. This article provides a better understanding of the marginal, yet unexplored in-migration of relatively affluent Europeans moving to Athens to work in the growing offshore service sector. Athens is an attractive place for offshore service work companies, as low salaries can be compensated for by “the sun,” “Greek culture,” and “low cost and high standard of living” (Bellos, 2019). Based on interviews with Finnish offshore workers, this article argues that the local context might not render all lifestyle migrants from wealthier countries similarly privileged. Due to their low salaries and recent changes in the local housing market fuelled by touristification, offshore service workers face a lack of affordable housing. The article further argues that affluent transnational migration is a multidimensional phenomenon, which needs to be contextualized, and which has nuanced, widespread effects on local housing markets and neighbourhood life.

Keywords:  Athens; lifestyle migration; offshore service workers; touristification; transnational gentrification

Published:   28 July 2020

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/up.v5i3.2990

© Johanna Lilius, Dimitris Balampanidis. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.