Greece’s negative publicity deters one in three Britons

Greece’s negative publicity deters one in three Britons

One in three UK adults are less likely to visit Greece because of the current crisis, research suggests, despite a majority saying current events make no difference.

The survey, carried out last weekend, came after Abta and the Association of Independent Tour Operators (Aito) wrote to the Greek government warning that UK operators might cut capacity unless they received help to promote the country.

The Greek National Tourism Organi-sation (GNTO) said it was still waiting to hear if government funds were available.

The Travel Weekly survey of more than 500 adults by Explore Research found 32% "less likely" to visit Greece.

However, 36% said current events made "no difference" and another 16% expressed more willingness to visit or were already going to Greece.

One in four respondents described Greece as "a great holiday destination", rising to 54% among those who had visited in the past four years.

The Abta-Aito letter, addressed to prime minister Lucas Papademos, asked the government to circumvent the "normal monumental bureaucracy" and "match euro for euro" the amount tour operators are prepared to invest in promoting Greece.

Signed by Abta chief executive Mark Tanzer and Aito chairman Derek Moore, it complained of "the constant negative publicity focused on Greece" and argued: "Action must be taken immediately to unlock funds for the promotion of Greece in the UK... not in three months."

Aito chairman Derek Moore said: "This is a wake-up call to the Greek government."

Sunvil managing director Noel Josephides added: "We are putting pressure on Greece [saying] ‘If you don’t help to repair the image, you will lose business’."

Monarch Travel Group has submitted proposals to the GNTO for two "substantial" campaigns after hearing more than £20 million could be available.

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