Greece tourism turning the corner
Greece’s tourism industry is enjoying a turnaround in fortunes after years of turmoil caused by the recession.
According to Andreas Andreadis, the head of Greece’s SETE tourism body, in an interview with Reuters, the country is gaining market share against its main competitors – Turkey and Egypt – “for the first time in years” and is on track to record 17 million visits in 2013.
And with pre-bookings from Britain, Greece’s top tourist market, for summer 2014, Mr Andreadis is predicting an all-time record high of 18 million people will arrive on Greek shores next year.
This is hugely important for a country where tourism accounts for 17 per cent of its economic output and employs 20 per cent of its citizens.
“For all this to happen, Greece needs to maintain this image of stability and show that it is determined and focused on its main targets,” Mr Andreadis added.
In recent years, protests and riots created a negative image for Greece, but with things beginning to settle down at the same Turkey and Egypt have endured civil unrest of their own, the country has been able to capitalise.
For tourists, protests and riots can really disrupt travel plans. This summer, the Foreign & Commonwealth was forced to issue an advisory warning against all but essential travel to many parts of Egypt, which have only recently started to be lifted.
When these sort of the problems arise, it’s important to seek advice from your travel insurer.
“Some travel insurance policies may … cover cancellation where the government advises against travel to the booked destination,” Malcolm Tarling, spokesman for the Association of British Insurers, told the Telegraph.
“Information specific to individual policies can be found in the policy terms and conditions. If anything is still unclear then contact the insurance company for clarification.”
However, insurers won’t cover you for disinclination to travel if you get second thoughts about a destination, so choose wisely.