Greece Travel Article – “Greece Update From Gwen Mead”
I’ve just returned from a most fantastic visit to Greece – during the most economically challenged period in modern history, and I would return in a heartbeat! The beauty of the country has not been affected by the economic crisis. The landscape is just as beautiful as ever, the beaches just as relaxing, the sun just as warm, and the people just as wonderful. All the reasons you could ever think to visit Greece are still there unchanged.
Credit Cards and cash availability
For the US traveler – credit cards issued by U.S. banks work with no restrictions. Clients should be prepared to bring enough Euros to cover expenses should shops and restaurants, metro and ferries require cash payments and for tipping and emergencies. The ATM’s are offering U.S. travelers Euros and there are ample ATM’s to choose from. All of the ETE Collection members transact business in USD, so US issued credit cards will always be accepted. They all have contingency plans in place to have ample cash reserves to cover operating expenses and payments to suppliers, and cover commissions. It’s business as usual!
The Greek islands are maintaining their supplies in high quantities, so restaurants, bars, and car rentals still transact with credit cards and no issues are being faced. The ATM’s in the islands have no one waiting in lines and machines are full. All visitors to the islands are commenting that if they did not read the news, they would not have known any issues were occurring.
Are there any safety issues? Any danger of unrest?
Greece is quiet and peaceful and the people are still as warm and hospitable as ever.
The Greek people understand very well that tourists are helping Greece and their economy and they love the American visitor. Furthermore, the Greek islands have always been peaceful and the atmosphere has never been affected by what happens in the capital.
I observed a peaceful demonstration in Athens, with lots of whistle blowing and children and dogs participating. Most demonstrations are scheduled, so authorities know when they will occur. The Grande Bretagne and King George have the best security in the world and they excel at making the guest experience safe and enjoyable. They have contingency plans and back doors to enter/exit away from the square. Athenians still enjoy coffee in the cafes blocks away from the protesters. These are democratic demonstrations in support of or against policies of their own government, not tourists. I’ve seen the strategic areas where the press broadcast – and they maximize any opportunity to “make news”.