Despite the ongoing financial crisis in Greece, the tourism sector has seen very little of it, with few holiday cancellations reported. In fact, predictions show that the € 29 billion in tourist revenue contributed to Greece’s GDP in 2014, will increase by 3% this year.
Cheap Holiday? Not as Much as you Would Think
While it would be expected that the current situation would warrant special deals to attract more tourists, just a simple online search shows that the prices for plane tickets are pretty much in the same range as they usually are for this time of the year. Even with the crisis, most flights are already booked.
One place to look for bargains is in where you stay. A lot of hotels have significantly lowered their prices in order to make sure that they can get higher occupancy, and make the most of people looking for good deals. For some travelers this means an upgrade from 3 or 4 star hotel stays to a 5 star option, without much difference in price, especially when combined with the drop in the Euro’s value.
Strapped for Cash
One of the main issues facing travelers visiting Greece this year is lack of cash. Trying to prepare for the possibility of going back to the Drachma if the bailout talks fail, banks put a limit on ATM withdrawals at the end of June, set at €60 per day.
However, these limits only affect Greek issued cards, and tourists are still able to withdraw as much as they want, but with the keenness of locals to get their hands on their cash, it really depends if the ATM has the amount available. This means that many travelers are bringing extra cash with them for emergencies, but with credit cards an option at most locations, running out of cash, while inconvenient, is not a serious risk.
Considering that travel and tourism make up for more than 17 percent of Greece’s GDP, the fact that this season is looking far better than expected, is really good news, at a time when the country needs it.