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

Johanna Lilius*, Dimitris Balampanidis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-188
Number of pages12
JournalUrban Planning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Athens
  • lifestyle migration
  • offshore service workers
  • touristification
  • transnational gentrification

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