Greece's economic crisis has a lot of people 'very nervous'

  • Pro-Euro protestors hold European Union flags during a pro-Euro rally in front of the parliament building in Athens, Greece on Jun. 30, 2015.
  • A pensioner waits outside a branch of the National Bank of Greece to get his pension in Athens, Greece on Jun. 29, 2015.
  • People place their votes inside of voting booths during the Greek referendum to decide whether or not Greece will accept the bailout conditions on July 5, 2015 in Athens, Greece.
  • Supporters of “yes,” right, and of “no,” left, wait for voters arriving in a polling station in Athens on July 5, 2015.
  • A ballot box is emptied by a voting official at the closing of polling stations in Athens, Greece on Jul. 5, 2015.
  • Members of the electoral commission prepare ballot slips for the count after polls closed during the Greek referendum in Athens, Greece on July 5, 2015.
  • Pensioners try to get a number to enter inside a bank in Athens, Greece on Jul. 1, 2015.
  • A defaced sign outside the Bank of Greece reads “Banque de Merkel” outside the Bank of Greece in Athens, Greece, on July 6, 2015.
  • Pensioners wait outside a National Bank branch to receive part of their pensions in the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece on Jul. 1, 2015.
  • Customers queue to withdraw cash from an automated teller machine (ATM) outside an Alpha Bank AE bank branch in Athens, Greece on July 6, 2015.
  • A bank employee tries to keep a door closed as pensioners line up outside an Alpha Bank in Athens, Greece on Jul. 1, 2015.
  • A pensioner holds his priority ticket as he waits to receive part of his pension at a National Bank branch in Athens, Greece on Jul. 6, 2015.
  • An anti-austerity protester burns a euro note during a demonstration outside the European Union (EU) offices in Athens, Greece on Jun. 28, 2015.
  • People celebrate in front of the Greek parliament as early opinion polls predict a win for the Oxi, or No, campaign in the Greek austerity referendum on July 5, 2015 in Athens, Greece.
  • “No” supporters wave a Greek flag in celebration at Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece after more than 61 percent of Greeks voted “no” to creditors’ demands in the referendum on Jul. 5, 2015.
  • A father and daughter at a demonstration in Athens, Greece, June 30, 2015.
  • Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras delivers a speech at an anti-austerity rally in Syntagma Square in Athens, Greece on Jul. 3, 2015.
  • Greek protesters hold a placard reading “No” during a demonstration calling for a ‘No’ vote in the upcoming referendum in Athens on July 3, 2015.
  • Anti-Euro protesters scuffle with riot police next to a pro-EU demonstration in Iraklio on the island of Crete, Greece on Jul. 2, 2015.
  • A demonstrator shouts slogans during a rally organized by supporters of the “Yes” vote in Athens, Greece on Jul. 3, 2015.
  • “No” supporters shout slogans during celebrations following a referendum in front of the parliament in Athens, Greece on Jul. 5, 2015.
  • Voters and members of the SYRIZA youth celebrate the strong “NO” (OXI) victory at the Greek referendum, at Syntagma square the night of  June 5, 2015.
  • Yanis Varoufakis, Greece’s outgoing finance minister, arrives at the finance ministry following his resignation in Athens, Greece on July 6, 2015.
  • Anti-EU protesters are seen through a burned and torn European Union flag during a protest at the northern city of Thessaloniki, Greece on Jul. 1, 2015.
  • Supporters of the No vote wave Greek flags after the first results of the referendum at Syntagma square in Athens on July 5, 2015.



Tourists are starting to worry about Greece’s economic crisis—a sign that the country’s tourism industry, which accounts for nearly 20 percent of GDP, could experience a slowdown if the financial situation worsens. 

But visitors shouldn’t necessarily cancel their plans, according to travel experts.

“A lot of people are very nervous,” said Pauline Frommer, editorial director of Frommer’s and co-host of “The Travel Show,” a national radio show. “The currency issue is a real one.”

Multiple travel companies said that a wave of people calling with concerns about traveling to Greece started last week after the country’s debt talks with European leaders stopped.

But most travelers still went. 

“We actually didn’t have one cancellation, and everyone who traveled said they had an excellent time,” said Kimberly Wilson Wetty, co-president and co-owner of Valerie Wilson Travel, which saw a number of its clients call in last week expressing concern.

Over the weekend, Greece voted in a referendum to reject the current proposed bailout measures. 

Damian McCabe, CEO of McCabe World Travel, said most travelers are waiting to see if the situation in Greece improves or worsens before making any decisions on whether to cancel their trips booked for later in the summer.

“I will say that we have not had any further new requests to go to Greece since the news broke that the Greek government might not accept the EU’s deal,” noted McCabe.

For now, going to Greece is still a fine travel decision, experts said.

“Greece has been in turmoil for a couple of years now, and tourists have never gotten harmed,” said Frommer. Greeks continue to welcome tourists, she added.

The U.S. Department of State does not have any current travel alerts or advisories on its website.

The main piece of advice? Bring extra cash and store the euros in a hotel safe.

“Visitors to Greece should be aware of possible banking service disruptions and should bring extra euros and more than one means of payment,” the U.K. government recommends on its website. Greek banks have been closed for more than a week to avoid a massive outflow of money that could lead to their collapse.

The Greek crisis hasn’t deterred Shop Latitude, a fashion and travel e-commerce site for women, from holding a “Magical Mykonos Sweepstakes” The contest for a trip to Greece opened in late June and will run through July 13.

“We are promoting Greek design and tourism to Greece, but given the current climate, we wanted to give the sweepstakes winner the option to travel at a later date,” said Aly DeMartino, buyer at Shop Latitude.

Experts say buying travel insurance is also an option. 

“Cancel for any reason policies,” as they are referred to in the tourism industry, go beyond typical insurance policies and usually cover up to 75 percent of a trip’s cost.

“For example, a comprehensive travel insurance plan available at InsureMyTrip with the cancel for any reason benefit included might cost around $275 for a spur-of-the-moment, two-week trip to Greece for one adult that costs $5,500,” said Jim Grace, CEO of, in an email.

Valerie Wilson Travel’s Wetty said that she thinks travel insurance is always a good idea.

“You may have sticker shock when you see the price of however much the [cancel for any reason] insurance costs, but it gives you complete peace of mind that your money is protected if you decide to cancel,” she said.

Traveling to Greece during a time of economic uncertainty could mean a more interesting and meaningful trip, some said.

“Embrace being there during a really historic time. People always look at these things and worry about the potential dangers, but often when you go to a place at a historic juncture, you have experiences and you make connections with the people that can be very special,” said Frommer.

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