Monday, 27 July 2015

overshadowing concerns, but Tourists Still Flooded Greece

Greece is known worldwide as the historic sites, the sea is sparkling, and restaurants were beautiful and shady. But the picture was now overshadowed by the police anti-riot, the banks are closed.

This is the reality faced by the Greek tourism sector this year, when the holiday season at the popular tourist destination that threatened severe financial crisis.

Until now, cafes and beautiful outdoor restaurant near the Acropolis was crowded with tourists, but given the bad publicity in the past week, many business owners say they started receiving cancellations and a decline in the number of reservations.

"Our bookings were down 20 to 30 percent," said Edward Fisher, who owns and operates a stay Athens Backpackers and Athens Studios, with a prime location near the Acropolis that target young children is limited pockets.

He blamed the global media over a slowdown in business, and said that he was convinced that only a "temporary disruption" because of the attractiveness of Greece timeless.

"There is something mystical about Greece," said the Australian who started his business 12 years ago. "This place tickle taste different. So we did not panic. But I want to avoid a humanitarian crisis here. "

Tourism and foreign funds poses vital for the recovery of the Greek debt bondage. World Travel and Tourism Council said direct contribution of tourism to the Greek economy more than US $ 32 billion in 2014, or more than 17 percent of the country's GDP.

Greek National Tourism Agency is taking measures ledge to convince tourists that credit cards and other bank cards will work normally and that the restrictions imposed on the citizens of Greece are not applicable for the visitors.

Lyssandros Tsilidis, president of the association of travel agents and tourists in Greece, be optimistic, to say that the figures remained stable tourism throughout the country.

"There are many rumors about the cancellation than the actual cancellation. And reservations are still coming in, "he said. "The tourists do not experience any problems."

The visitors Acropolis and the surrounding agree, saying that they enjoy a normal holiday without interruption.

"I saw some of the line at the ATM but not super long queue," said Luciane Souza, Brazilian lawyer who first visit to Greece. "I love this place. For fun, there is no problem. "

John Kopari, tourists from Duluth, Minnesota, adding that the crisis has not affected her and her family in the slightest.

But for those who have not made a reservation on the way to Greece, there are fears that the ATMs and banks will soon run out of money, unless there is an injection of euros from the European Central Bank or other emergency sources.

And several restaurants and hotels have put up signs that they will not accept credit cards, despite assurances from the government.

Christina Poulogiani tour guide said that on Tuesday (7/7) is the busiest day of the year, but he was unsure of the bookings coming days.

"People are still waiting before committing. Business is going well now, but people were worried because these groups are not committed, "he said.

The peak of the crisis occurred at a bad time for hundreds of thousands of Greek citizens who depend on the income in the summer to survive the winter are deserted.

Elman Vasileios, manager of travel agency Majestic Travel in downtown Athens, said the bank closure made it difficult operate business as usual. Worse yet, airlines and major airlines have informing him that he can not issue a ticket, even those customers who have cash.

"We can not operate as it used to because there is no quick access to the funds if people pay by credit card," he said. "A lot of our money is also retained in the bank and can not be taken."

His office still accept credit cards, but need days or weeks until he could get his money through a variety of electronic bank transfer system.

He had some problems accumulate: Tourist shorten or cancel their trip to Greece, and a large number of Greeks who are worried about their finances (especially their cash supply) has canceled a summer vacation.

"The number of Greeks who this summer vacation zero. I have just experienced a 40 cancellations. They do not have access to their money and they do not know when can access them. The holiday season is ruined. Foreign embassies to remind people about the problems that exist so people think twice about coming to Greece, "he said.

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