The Greek Tourism Ministry has announced a new regulation allowing tourism enterprises and airlines in Greece to reimburse their customers by issuing 18-month vouchers in order to mitigate the effects of cancellations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Hotels and airlines, as well as travelers, will benefit from the decision. Travelers will not lose their money, but will instead able to push their booking dates forward. At the same time, hotels and airlines will get relief in the short to medium term by stemming cash loses. Smaller entities, like small and medium-sized tourism enterprises, will also be afforded relief.
The regulation also stipulates, that if the vouchers are not used within 18 months, businesses will be required to refund the amount of the initial deposit in cash. Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis was quoted by GTP saying the “provision will be passed in the next bill in the coming days.”
Germany and other EU countries have promoted the voucher option instead of issuing refunds. Minister Theoharis was also cited discussing Greece’s “cooperating on a European level and preparing a letter to the Commission to support the measure.”
According to SETE president, Yiannis Retsos, his organization will encourage Greek enterprises to include an added value to the voucher, as a best practice, in addition to the advance payment made for bookings.