Travel: Can you still go to Greece?

A Generic Photo of Matala harbour at sunrise, Greece. See PA Feature TRAVEL Passport. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL Passport.
A Generic Photo of Matala harbour at sunrise, Greece. See PA Feature TRAVEL Passport. Picture credit should read: PA Photo/thinkstockphotos. WARNING: This picture must only be used to accompany PA Feature TRAVEL Passport.

Holidaymakers who’ve booked a stay in Greece this year may fear that its change of government could lead to strikes, political unrest and even a change of currency. So what should you do?

The official message is don’t worry. Don’t cancel if you’ve booked and don’t hesitate if you fancy going to Greece this year because - like the rest of the Eurozone - it’s likely to be a bargain.

Around two million Brits visit Greece every year, making it among our most popular holiday destinations. Bookings for Greek holidays in 2015 are actually up slightly compared with the same time last year, says ABTA, and there’s no reason why this shouldn’t continue.

While political change can affect a destination, the election of anti-austerity party Syriza is likely to have a very limited impact on British holidaymakers travelling to Greece, particularly as the new government has stated that it wants to stay in the Eurozone, the association says.

The election may have the effect of further increasing the value of sterling against the euro, which had already begun to fall in value against a range of currencies including sterling, against which it’s currently at a seven-year low.

This is great news for holidaymakers, who will find their spending money will go further in Greece and other destinations, including Spain, France, Italy and Portugal.

Noel Josephides, chairman of ABTA and managing director of Greek specialists Sunvil Holidays, says: “Trips to Greece - not to mention France, Spain and Italy - can only get cheaper.

“Those heading to a big city like Athens or Thessaloniki should not be put off, as a repeat of the protests and unrest experienced in 2011 and 2012 is highly unlikely. There will not be any violence because this is a popular movement - people are fed up with the old political regime and have voted for change.”

Indeed the Foreign Office has not changed its advice to those travelling to Greece since before the election, which indicates it considers that the risks haven’t changed. Check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece/safety-and-security for details.