Tourists urged to bring cash as Greek financial crisis escalates

Greece imposed capital controls over the weekend, and financial markets and institutions will remain closed this week as Greece prepares for a referendum on Sunday.

The British Foreign Office has advised travellers going to Greece on vacation is to avoid relying on cards, and instead bring sufficient amounts of cash into the country to covering spending requirements.

Greece’s Culture Ministry has announced that individuals and tour groups visiting the Acropolis will be able to pay for their tickets by credit card from now on, as cash in the country runs short due to bank closures.

It says that while there are cash difficulties in Greece, tour groups can pay by voucher if the group has one. Otherwise, the group agents can give a credit note to the ticket office including their tax ID number, and would be able to settle the cost with the Acropolis after the banks re-open.

Greece has shut its banks for a week and imposed limits on cash withdrawals and transfers amid concerns the country could fall out of the euro, which will undoubtedly impact the tourism sector.

Greece’s hotels association has issued a statement warning that Greece’s move to limit money withdrawals is already having an impact on the vital tourism industry.

The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels said: “These recent developments in our country already have immediate, real negative consequences on tourism. All must understand this.”

“We wish and hope that all political forces will assume their responsibilities, restoring the country as quickly as possible to normality and stability, which are absolutely essential requirements to protect Greek tourism and to support one more time the national recovery effort of the Greek economy.”

The hotel association says it is working with other tourist industry bodies to “safeguard the country’s international image and to deal with any instances of exploitation of the current situation.”

Greek will be going to the polls on Sunday to decide whether they agree with ongoing austerity, which some are calling a referendum on Euro membership.

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