The latest U.S.-Turkey friction may be a boom for Greece and other vacation hot spots in the Med. Political tensions between the U.S. and Turkey may prompt travelers from both countries to choose Greece or other destinations this season.
According to Greek Reporter, Turkish travelers have already been flocking across the Aegean to neighboring Greece for vacations. Citing the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, GR says the number of Turks to have visited Greece in 2017 was expected to top the one-million mark. On travel to Greece, proximity and economy are big factors for Turks, and the availability of special visas to allow Turkish visitors easy access to key touristic hotspots — particularly on the islands — have provided a welcome source of revenue for the Greek tourism sector.
Where the U.S. is concerned, American visitors are particularly important to Greece. Earlier this year Greek media reported comments by the head of the Hellenic American Chamber of Tourism predicted 900,000 American visitors to Greece in 2017, and the number is expected to go up for 2018. But the most recent friction between Washington and Ankara is over traveler safety, with both nations warning citizens not to travel. In the end, both states may suspend visa services to each other’s citizens, and this would work in Greece’s and destinations along the Dalmatia coast’s favor.
Only this week, the U.S. State Department issued a warning to its citizens saying they faced threats from “terrorism and arbitrary detentions” if travelling to Turkey. And Ankara struck back, with the Turkish foreign ministry warning Turkish nationals going to the U.S. of possible “arbitrary detentions based on testimonies of unrespected sources”.
As the U.S./Turkey relationship continues to suffer amid a slew of accusations and allegations, citizens of both countries may decide Greece offers a better prospect for a safe, sunny and affordable vacation.