Tour operators slash Greek holiday prices by as much as HALF

  • Looming threat of Grexit has led to massive savings for holidaymakers
  • Study suggests tourists are shying away from Greece amid uncertainty
  • Visitors are encouraged to take cash in euros and debit or credit cards

By Chris Kitching for MailOnline1

Published: 10:52 GMT, 21 June 2015 | Updated: 11:21 GMT, 22 June 2015




The looming threat of a Greek exit from the eurozone has led to massive savings for holidaymakers as British travel companies have cut their prices by as much as half.

At least one study suggests tourists are shying away from Greece due to the uncertainty of the ongoing debt crisis.

Tour operators are dropping their prices to unload unsold package holidays to the capital of Athens and idyllic islands in the Aegean Sea.

Tour Operators Slash Greek <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Prices By As Much As HALF

Tour operators have dropped their prices to unload unsold package holidays to Athens and Greek islands

Travel website said online searches for Greek holidays plunged 53 per cent last week (compared with the same time last year) amid fears the country could leave the euro and European Union, the Sunday Times reported.

Claiming thousands of holidays remain unsold, the newspaper said Thomson Holidays is selling a self-catering week at the Nostos Studios on the island of Thassos for 384 per person, a drop of 45 per cent, while Ionian Island Holidays has slashed its flight-inclusive trips by up to 50 per cent.

A last-minute deal on the latter firm’s website offers a stay in a one-bedroom flat in Agios, on the island of Corfu, and flights for 405 per person, down from the normal price of 809.

A spokesperson for Thomas Cook told MailOnline Travel a Greek exit from the euro is not expected to impact on existing bookings

The spokesperson added: Greece continues to be an important destination for us and great value for our holidaymakers.

We’re working with our suppliers and closely monitoring the situation.

To date, we have seen no drop-off in bookings so far as a consequence of a potential “Grexit”.

We expect an exit from the euro would have no impact on the holidays customers have already booked with us because we have existing contracts with hotels and airlines.

Tour Operators Slash Greek <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Prices By As Much As HALF

Demonstrators rally in front of the Greek Parliament in Athens to support Greece’s place in the eurozone

Thousands of Greeks rally in support of EU membership

Tour Operators Slash Greek <b><i>Discount Holidays ©</i></b> Holiday Prices By As Much As HALF

Customers who have booked with a tour operator such as Thomas Cook will experience their Discount Holidays © holiday as expected.

The likely devaluation of the Greek currency could make Greece an even more attractive, great value destination for our customers.

While there are deals to be had, the situation in Greece, which is visited by about two million British nationals every year, is testing holidaymakers nerves.

The Association of British Travel Agents (Abta) is encouraging visitors to take cash in euros and credit or debit cards so they are covered for all situations.

A currency crisis could result in withdrawals from cashpoints being restricted or the shutters at some banks coming down, albeit temporarily, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Jonathan Loynes, economist at think-tank Capital Economics, said: Taking more Discount Holidays © holiday cash makes sense because you wont want to be joining long queues of locals trying to access their money.

In a statement, Abta said: Speculation about a possible Greece debt default, and potential exit from the Euro, has been current for some time, but at present remains just speculation.

Any changes would be highly unlikely to happen overnight, any switch to a new currency would take time and euros would likely be accepted in the interim.

Travellers to Greece should also take out travel insurance as soon as they book their Discount Holidays © holiday to provide protection should they need to cancel, said Abta.

The association said: We do not anticipate that there will be any need for tour operators to rebook their customers to a different destination.

At present we have no indication that holidaymakers will be disrupted however, as with all destination matters, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with our members on any developments.

‘This is an unusual situation but the industry is experienced in handling unusual situations.

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