There is a rather resounding answer to that question – yes!
If you are looking to visit the beautiful mainland or islands of Greece, and you’re worried about economic and financial stability following the crisis that took place during the early part of summer 2015, then you can be reassured that a) hopefully the worst is over, and that b) as a tourist, you won’t notice much difference at all, provided you’re aware of what’s going on.
I guess we should fill in the blanks as to what this financial crisis was all about before we go any further into reassuring you of how it is.
The crisis actually began many years ago, basically because the Greek government had policies in place which caused overspending, but in order to bridge the gap, external loans were arranged in order to cover it. This was fine until the national debt grew to an amount that was too difficult to manage, and the country was unable to borrow any further funds, plunging it into financial crisis. The EU helped out initially, putting in place a series of debt reduction and management routes, with the aim to get Greece back on track, however the fact remains that the government in Greece is the largest employer in the country, and cuts in wages obviously caused strikes and protests in the capital. Unemployment soared, and further economic and political situations worsened.
On 14 August 2015, the Eurozone agreed to a bailout, which drastically reduces the chances of Greece leaving the Euro, and hopefully stabilises the situation.
The general advice is that after this time, anyone visiting Greece won’t notice a difference in terms of tourism, and that this beautiful country remains somewhere visitors should head and enjoy. Any protests are likely to be centred within the main squares of Athens, and the advice is to avoid any protests, and also to avoid any political conversations with locals. Simply enjoy Greece for the beauty it holds.
You may have heard of cashpoint restrictions and lack of cash in the machines, but provided you take enough Euros with you for the duration of your stay, keeping them safe of course, then you should have no problems. Simply make sure that your Euro notes are of a lower denomination, to avoid problems with change. Caps on the amount you can take out of a cash point are for Greek nationals only, however there were many reports previously of excessive queues at cashpoints and a lack of money in the machines – this should be resolved mostly now. You can use your credit and debit cards with no problems too.
There is no reason why you shouldn’t travel to Greece and enjoy every single drop of it, whether you choose to head to the historic mainland, or the beautiful sun-drenched islands, of which there are many to choose from. Greece may have its financial problems, and of course as a globe we should pay heed to them, but in terms of tourism, it’s business as usual.
Photo Credit: mariusz kluzniak