The Greek tourism industry has issued a pre-summer message of reassurance to holidaymakers concerned about the country’s financial plight and political uncertainty.
The Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) issued its statement ahead of fresh government elections in the country.
The organisation stressed that British holidaymakers will be able to lock in the best exchange rate since 2008.
“In fact, hotels and apartments are offering very favourable rates during this time, enabling guests to experience a great holiday for reduced prices,” SETE said.
“In Greek cities and resorts, hotels are offering a wealth of extra benefits such as free extra meals or free children's places.”
The move follows a meeting between the association’s president Andreas Andreadis and the Greek prime minister Panagiotis Pikrammenos to discuss the plight of the tourism industry.
The prime minister said that “tourism remains one of the basic development axes of the Greek economy”, and that the main target of his government is to “reassure that the country is preparing for national elections with stability and tranquility”.
Andreadis added: “We want to encourage international tourism and assure potential tourists that there has never been a better time to come to our country.
“We are trying to change the way our country and its economy is run, however, this is not going to affect the quality of a holiday. Greece remains one of the top destinations in the world and we reassure holidaymakers that this summer remains business as usual.”
The organisation also sought to dampen fears about strike action ahead of the national elections.
“It is important to mention that the country is preparing for national elections and usually the pre and post election periods are characterised by tranquility, hence the chances of strikes in Greece for summer 2012 are far lower than in most other European countries,” SETE said.
“During April and May, the number of strikes and demonstrations has indeed been very limited compared to the same period last year.
SETE quoted polls showing that more than 80% of the Greek people are in favour of Greece remaining within the eurozone.
This came in the wake of leaders of the world’s G8 nations making a strong plea for Greece to stay in the eurozone and the European Union, under the understanding that Greece is willing to commit to necessary structural reforms.
Greek banks are solvent and like all eurozone banks, have a guaranteed solvency by the European Central Bank, SETE added. An infusion of €18 billion is due to reach banks in Greece this week from the European Support Fund.
“Holidaymakers will be able to make any kind of financial transactions as usual in Greece during the 2012 summer,” SETE said.
“Travellers only need to check out TripAdvisor to see that hundreds of thousands of British holidaymakers currently in Greece are enjoying sunshine filled, happy holidays and we anticipate that it will remain so.”
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