Chris Haslam – Chief Travel Writer at the Sunday Times writes

Here is an article by the Chief Travel Writer at the Sunday Times dated 14th February 2016:
Will there be trouble in paradise?
“Given Greece’s recent deluge of problems, what are the prospects for a trouble-free summer holiday there? For the answer, you need to look both backwards and forwards, writes Chris Haslam.
This time last year, it wasn’t looking like a good bet. Debt default and a Grexit loomed, promising a season of drachmas and disruption for travellers as well as locals. Islands would run out of food, hotels would be seized by banks and cashpoints would be empty.
The financial collapse never came, but a different tragedy struck. The Dodecanese and Aegean islands became the threshold of Europe for Syria’s refugees.
Yet despite the relentless negative publicity, Greek tourism thrived, with resorts largely unaffected and visitor numbers up on the previous year. And the signs are that this summer will follow the same pattern.
The financial crisis hasn’t gone away, but there are no signs that last year’s brinkmanship is about to be repeated. And while the refugee crisis is a tragedy, it affects only a handful of islands: Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Agathonisi, Kalymnos and Kos.
At present, though, the hazy geography of many travellers means there’s still loads of availability and great value in most of Greece. This may change soon, and terrorism will play a part. Millions of British and northern European tourists are shunning Egypt, Tunisia and Turkey, and have looked instead to Spain, Portugal and Italy. Result: many resorts in those countries are booked out. By Easter, those who would have booked an all-inclusive in Turkey and have failed to find an alternative in Iberia will consider Greece, and specifically resort islands such as Corfu, Crete and Rhodes.
So, this is not the year to be putting together a DIY holiday in Greece. Overbooking is likely on ferries, as well as in hotels, so buy a protected package from a bonded tour operator who will look after you if anything goes wrong, and look at smaller, harder-to-reach islands.
Bottom line: book your package now, and smile. This is Greece, and the essentials remain the same: the sun will shine, the sea will mesmerise, the lunches will go on for ever. and you will drink too much ouzo

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