Tourists travelling to Greece have raised concerns about the impact a financial collapse will have on their travel plans.
Media reports confirm that the country’s stock exchange and banks were closed after the European Central Bank (ECB) said that further credit to Greece was being refused after the eurozone rejected further bailouts. Further reports add that Greek citizens have been queuing up at ATMs to draw cash, although they can currently only withdraw up to €60 a day.
The nation will be holding a referendum to vote whether it will remain in the eurozone. If Greece votes no, tourists are being told not to worry as the impact will be marginal. Tourism companies will likely continue to quote rates, and accept payment, in euros for the benefit of visitors from the single currency area.
The UK Foreign Office latest advice states: “Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services – including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs – throughout Greece could potentially become limited at short notice. Make sure you have enough Euros in cash to cover emergencies, unforeseen circumstances and any unexpected delays.”
The US Embassy in Athens has said: “Citizens are encouraged to carry more than one means of payment (cash, debit cards, credit cards), and make sure to have enough cash on hand to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays.”
The Government of Canada has issued the following advisory: “Banks in Greece are expected to be closed from June 29 to July 7, 2015. Withdrawals have been restricted to 60 EUR per day until further notice. Expect long lines at ABMs and a shortage of hard currency throughout the country. Plan to have more than one means of payment (cash, debit cards, credit cards) and ensure they have enough cash to cover unexpected travel expenses.”
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for its part issued an advisory saying:” Visitors to Greece should be aware of the possibility that banking services including credit card processing and servicing of ATMs throughout Greece could become limited at short notice. Daily ATM withdrawal limits do not currently apply to most major foreign debit/credit cards. Make sure you have more than one means of payment with you (cash,debit cards, credit cards), and make sure you have enough money to cover emergencies and any unexpected delays. Petrol stations may not accept credit card payments. The level of the advice has not changed.”
- Greece travel advice Q&A: Tourists urged to bring cash not cards on holiday
- Q&A Should I be worried about Greek Holiday
- Greek Travel Advice: Do tourists have cause for concern?
- Travelling to Greece for a holiday? You’d better have plenty of cash
- How the Greek financial crisis could affect your holiday plans
Advice for travellers
- €60 restriction on withdrawals does not apply to people who hold bank cards from outside of Greece although there are reports that some ATMs have run out of money and are no longer able to dispense cash.
- Cash will be the best form of currency for travellers, although multiple means of payment are advised.
- Take extra security precautions carrying cash. Use safes and deposit boxes to store cash and split money between family members so that no traveller carries too much around with them.