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Greece Extends Voucher Period for Canceled Trips Due to Covid-19

Photo source: UNWTO

Photo source: UNWTO

Greek authorities have extended the voucher period for cancelled trips due to Covid-19 to March 31, 2022, in view of ongoing restrictions. The decision, included in new tourism legislation published recently in the Government Gazette, concerns vouchers issued for cancelled trips in 2020 which were not used in 2021.

The extension will allow more vouchers to be used to offer consumers other services in efforts to reduce the amounts due and lead to the gradual normalization of the situation, said the Federation of Hellenic Associations of Travel & Tourist Agencies (FedHATTA) in a statement.

FedHATTA expressed its satisfaction with the decision and the revised tourism ministry legislation (Article 61), noting that the government “finally realized the serious problem faced by tourist offices with regard the return of money during the 18-month expiration of each voucher in this particularly difficult economic period”.

The new tourism legislation Ν.4875/2021 (in Greek) that was published in the Government Gazette (ΦΕΚ 250 Α’ 23.12.2021) can be seen here.

Last year, the government revised regulations to the law on refund claims regarding bookings of airlines, ferries, yachts, hotels and travel packages that were canceled due to the pandemic.

Consumer groups have repeatedly called for the implementation of EU law which foresees the option of full refunds.

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  1. Ruby Guevara Reply

    Is anyone else still having a hard time from Nikki Beach in Santorini? Had an expired voucher and they still haven’t refunded me. You think such a luxurious stay would try to earn a better reputation!

  2. Lara Reply

    I am experiencing the exact same thing with June Twenty Suites. I have been following up for months now and raised the issue of why it takes so long to refund the amount.
    My request and the 18 month period was up before the extended credit vouchers were put in place. They are just taking us for a ride.

    Happy to campaign too, it’s a joke

  3. Denise Trivento Reply

    Our Vouchers (for 3 couples) expired in November of 2021. Our travel agent was told that they (Sophia Hotel) needed until January 2022 to process the refunds, even though they had the prior 18 months. Obviously, the Sophia Hotel in Santorini knew of this impending extension and blatantly lied to us in order to avoid refunding our money that they have had for over two years. Clearly this is a violation of the law. Our refunds should have been released 6 weeks prior to the extension! Whenever it is safe to travel to Greece again, I certainly will not patron a Sophia Hotel and I will begin a social media campaign outlining exactly what they have done to warn other customers of the unscrupulous actions this hotel is capable of. Apparently, they are not concerned about their reputation.

    • Holly Spoors Reply

      Is this sophia suites in santorini? It’s the same hotel we’re dealing with. I’d be happy to get involved in a social media campaign too. I tried leaving comments on their accounts but all were ignored.

      • HG Reply

        Same hotel that I have been dealing with since 2020 when we had to cancel our trip. At first it was 18 months and when I made my request at expiry they encouraged me to rebook.. might I add prices have gone up significantly so our voucher wouldn’t even cover the cost of our original stay. I continued to ask for a refund and they said I had to wait another month. I reached back out and they said they are starting the refund process but having technical issues. They “got resolved” and at this point they even took my information to process the refund and it never came. I followed up twice with no response and then finally they sent a notice saying the refund would come in January. I reached out and now they tell me the voucher has been extended until March 31, 2022 and are encouraging us to rebook.

        I understand that businesses are hurting, but for us it is not feasible to travel as I am 8 months pregnant and don’t see us being able to make it to Greece anytime soon and as mentioned the voucher won’t even cover the cost of our original stay, prices have doubled.

        I feel the refund will never come!!

        • Mike Reply

          I’m also experiencing the same with Sophia suites. Any luck?

  4. Holly Reply

    So my voucher expired on 24th November but the hotel was not only impossible to get in touch with but when we eventually got a response it made some excuse about paying us in January. Clearly they knew this was coming and have now said they don’t have to refund us until March now. Is this correct? By the original law we should have had our refund ‘immediately’ : “If for any reason, when the voucher expires, no new booking has been made for the provision of any tourism service between the tourism enterprise and the customer, the tourism enterprise is obliged to immediately pay the refundable amount of money to the customer.”

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