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No fall off in holiday bookings to Greece but tourists told to bring lots of cash

Tour operators say it’s business as usual and there are no special deals to be had.

Image: Shutterstock/JeniFoto

THERE’S UNCERTAINTY IN the air for the Greek people, Europe and for tourists due to fly out on holiday in the coming days.

The capital controls in place (where limits have been placed on the amount of money that can be withdrawn from banks) does not effect tourists.

What’s the deal if you are due to travel there? 

The Department of Foreign Affairs is strongly advising people bring enough cash with them to cover their costs while in the country.

It’s recommending people take more than one means of payment with them – cash, debit card or credit card.

Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice.

At the moment, Irish visitors should be able to use ATMs as normal as long as the ATM has been replenished, however questions remain about how long cold hard cash will be filling up the machines.

Credit and debit cards are not widely acceptable as a form of payment on many Greek islands, so holidaymakers are being told to have enough money in cash to cover the duration of your stay, emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays.

shutterstock_161145095 Source: Shutterstock/Vladimir Vyshvanyuk

So, has there been a fall-off in bookings to Greece? 

Martin Skelly, President of the Irish Travel Agents Association (ITAA) said “it is early days yet but to date there has been no visible fall off on bookings and there certainly hasn’t been any reports of cancellations”.

However, we are finding that travellers are taking advice from travel agents and are a lot more cautious. That level of caution is not there when people are booking other destinations.

Sunway Holidays said many of their bookings are not impacted by the credit restrictions, as its bookings are all inclusive for Club Med resorts.

While they have had some customers call out of concern, it’s business as usual for them.

Any good deals?

Sun Holidays said it is not seeing any fall down in the interest in the Greek Islands.

The islands are still relatively expensive to get to, it said, adding there are no real deals for the Greek islands as everything is still full brochure price.

“Other than the usual travel bargains to be had at your local travel agent, there are no specific deals to Greece as a result of their current economic situation,” said Skelly.

shutterstock_214840807 Source: Shutterstock/kostasgr

It is actually more expensive to stay on the Greek islands, in comparison to last year.
Trivago’s year-on-year analysis of hotel prices in the top five Greek island summer destinations for Irish holidaymakers shows there has been a 9%-32% rise in hotel prices.

GREECE Source: Trivago

Are holidaymakers deterred? Not really.
One holidaymaker heading to Crete this weekend said he isn’t all that worried about it.
He said they plan on bringing a good bit of cash with them, but probably not enough to cover all eventualities.
We booked a while back and it didn’t seem all that cheaper than when we went last year.
I’m confident enough that between cards and ATMs (and hoping that Crete isn’t quite as badly effected as maybe the mainland) we’ll get by without too much bother
Many of the travel agents said they are following the advice from the department and are not recommending that people cancel their trip.
Just ensure you have enough cash with you.

Read:The Greek people have said no – so what’s next?>

Read: Greece latest: Merkel and Tsipras talk by phone as the IMF say they are “ready to assist”>

 

 

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