Whatever the currency, Greece expected to be travel bargain

The village of Oia on the Greek island of Santorini. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The village of Oia on the Greek island of Santorini. Photo Credit: Shutterstock


By Michelle Baran

As the travel industry awaits whether Greece will exit from the eurozone, initial predictions are that whatever happens, Greece will be a very good deal for Americans.

If Greece does leave the eurozone, “Ironically, we could see travel to Greece increase, as leisure and business travelers alike take advantage of favorable exchange rates and lower prices from everything from hotels, airfares and rental cars,” stated Mike McCormick, executive director of the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA).

McCormick echoed the sentiment of many in the industry that thus far tourism to Greece remains steady, despite the onslaught of concerning financial news.

“Greece has a lot of options. Greece can stay with the current currency and with the [European Union], or it can switch over to its own currency and stay in the E.U. If that happens, that’s actually a silver lining for people in the travel industry,” said John Klados, vice president of marketing and sales for Homeric Tours, a Greece specialist.

Klados said that whatever happens, Greece is going to be a good deal for U.S. travelers. “Either way, for tourism’s sake, it’s going to work out.”

Homeric, Central Holidays and other tour operators that sell Greece said that while they’re fielding calls from concerned travelers who are watching the news about Greece’s uncertain economic and political situation, they have yet to experience any cancellations for the high summer season for travel to the Mediterranean destination.

Klados noted that while Homeric recommends that clients bring some petty cash for cabs and incidentals as they normally would, tourists should not experience withdrawal limits at the ATMs beneath their regular bank limits, as they are international clients.

He added that operations in Greece are proceeding as normal, with Homeric’s ground team and administration not experiencing any setbacks to keeping the business running.

“One of the most helpful things that we can do for Greece is to continue to travel there, whether for business or holiday travel,” stated McCormick.

In the meantime, amid all the uncertainty about whether Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s bid for additional bailout relief before his country’s banks run out of cash proves successful, the dollar has been gaining strength against the euro. On Tuesday, the dollar-to-euro exchange rate dipped down below 1.10.

Originally found on Travel Weekly.

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