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ABTA: VAT Hikes in Greece Should Not Affect Majority of Holidays This Summer

MYKONOS_22_Little Venice

The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) on Tuesday informed British holidaymakers and travellers heading out to Greece that the increases of the country’s value added tax (VAT) rates are not expected to affect the majority of holidays this summer.

Photo source: ABTA

Photo source: ABTA

The Greek parliament has agreed to raise the VAT on many basic goods and services in the country as part of the package to obtain a financial bailout.

“The intention is that many of these increases will come into effect from 1 October 2015 so they would not affect the majority of holidays for this summer”, the association underlined.

ABTA also informed that the banks in Greece have reopened but advised holidaymakers and travellers heading out to Greece to take enough euros in cash to cover all of their needs.

“Please note, at this time there are no limits on cash withdrawals for tourists using cards at ATMs. However, there are mixed reports on availability of cash from ATMs. There is no guarantee that you’ll be able to exchange sterling for euros in Greece. There are no restrictions on taking unspent euros out of Greece at the end of your stay.”

The association added that other payment methods such as credit and debit cards are accepted as normal in shops and restaurants in Greece.

ABTA also noted that — while pharmacies in Greece appear to be operating normally — the Foreign Office advises holidaymakers and travellers to make sure they have sufficient medical supplies (including prescription medicines) for the duration of their stay and any unforeseen delays, as a precautionary measure.

“Continuous reports from our Members and holidaymakers on the ground suggest that it remains business as usual in the Greek resorts with bars, shops and restaurants adequately supplied and open as usual”, the association said and added that it does not expect that tour operators will need to rebook their customers to a different destination.

ABTA also advised holidaymakers and travellers, as it does with any destination, to take out travel insurance as soon as they book their holiday.

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