Alternate Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura underlined that “Greece continues to guarantee the high quality of services offered to visitors that have rendered it top international tourism destination”.
At the same time she stated that “the Greek tourism remains high on the tourists’ preference. The tourists that are currently in Greece as well as those that are going to come will not be at the least affected by the latest developments and can continue to enjoy their vacations in Greece without the slightest problem.”
On its part, Economy, Infrastructure, Shipping and Tourism Ministry in an announcement on Monday stated “the restriction measures on the capitals imposed by the Greek authorities do not refer to those who want to make transactions via ATM with credit or debit cards issued abroad”.
Moreover, it underlined that there is sufficiency in fuel as well as in products and services that secure the smooth daily life of the tourists the cities, the regions and on the islands.
The credit card transactions settlement system is operating normally and it is unaffected from a six-day bank holiday, Eurobank sources told ANA-MPA.
The sources said that all credit card payment must be accepted by all enterprises, exactly as it happened until now, adding that enterprises can transfer all the money they wanted to suppliers’ accounts through e-banking services without any problem.
ACCEPTS CREDIT CARDS
The ticket booths for entrance to the Athens Acropolis will for the first time be able to accept credit cards and debit cards, in addition to cash, the culture ministry announced on Monday. The announcement said that the option of paying with “plastic” would be open to both individual tourists and for organised groups, while adding that this had been a “long-standing demand” that was finally being met.
The decision was taken in light of the recent decision to impose capital controls and the 60-euro limit on cash withdrawals.
For as long as access to cash is difficult, the announcement added, groups would be able to enter using vouchers, while for those that have no vouchers, the tour operators must submit a note supplying their full tax details, which will be cashed in when banks open again.
TUI gives vote of confidence
to Greece’s tourism product,
presenting winter programme
Travel industry giant TUI on Monday sent a message of confidence in Greece and the Greek tourist product, while presenting its winter programme to German journalists in Hania, Crete.
Despite the crisis being played out in the country and the latest political developments, TUI appeared confident that both 2015 and 2016 will be good years for tourism in Greece and saw no reason why developments would affect the country’s tourism sector.
“Of course we are interested in political developments but they do not affect the flow of tourism toward this country. We do not give special advice to our clients that come to Greece. Apart from advising them to bring some cash, but also cards, in order to facilitate their transactions,” TUI’s head for the eastern Mediterranean said.
He said the decision to present TUI’s programme on Crete was not coincidence, stressing that TUI puts emphasis on the island as a tourist destination.
Greek banks to open 850 branches
on Thursday to service pensioners
Greek banks will open 850 branches on Thursday to service pensioners who do not own cash cards, sources from the vice-presidency of the government said on Monday.
The sources said that National Bank will reopen 250 branches, Piraeus Bank 250 units, Alpha Bank 200 units and Eurobank another 150 units, which will cover the entire country. Pensioners will be able to draw up to 60 euros per day.
The vice-presidency of the government said that a special Bank Transaction Approval Commission, of the General Accounting Office, has began operations in cooperation with the Finance ministry, the Bank of Greece, Hellenic Bank Association and the Capital Market Commission. The Commission is examining demands for urgent and necessary payments that cannot be done because of the imposition of capital controls. The same sources said that problems appearing early in the day in money deposits by supermarkets and petrol stations (daily turnover) were gradually been resolved, while the government –in cooperation with Greek embassies abroad- was taking measures to facilitate Greek tourists abroad by raising credit/debit card limits to allow Greek citizens to meet their financial obligations (hotels, air fares, etc).
The government sources did not exclude the possibility that banks could reopen sooner than the bank holiday to service certain transactions.