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Greece tourism feeling the heat?

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 01:47

Santorini fears Greece's uncertain future may put off tourists as proposed VAT hikes and tax reforms threaten to hit the industry hard. Ivor Bennett reports.

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Santorini - Greece as its tourism board would like you to see her. For now at least, it's a view many are keen to savour. But businesses here wonder: for how much longer? (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLUE STAR FERRIES OFFICE MANAGER, ANNA DAKOUDROU, SAYING: "If the customers they don't feel confident when they come in Greece, or even the islands, I think we'll have not so good, not so many people coming here." Anna Dakoudrou manages the Blue Star ferry office. A firm that relies on Santorini's tourists - even more so now capital controls are beginning to bite. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BLUE STAR FERRIES OFFICE MANAGER, ANNA DAKOUDROU, SAYING: "We need to pay people that work here in the end of the month, we pay cash, because they need the money also, they cannot get money from the bank, it's closed, some of those they don't have a card." Foreign cash though is already drying up. Some hotels in Santorini have seen as many as 20 percent of reservations cancelled in the last four days. Across the country, last minute bookings are down by nearly a third. The whitewashed walls no longer enough to conceal Greece's problems. The outlook is better at the top end of the market, and in more ways than one. A room at this hotel would set you back up to 1000 euros a night, but so far it hasn't had any cancellations. It's owner is Ilias Moutsatsos. (SOUNDBITE) (French) LUXURY HOTEL "LA PERLA VILLAS"' OWNER AND MANAGER, ILIAS MOUTSATSOS, SAYING: "Tourism will be affected temporarily, but only temporarily, I mean I don't think that the "Greek product", the Greek islands, Greek hospitality, will be affected in the long-term, or even in the short-term." That view may change though as Greece and its creditors try to reach a deal. VAT hikes are one of the reforms on the table. That could mean holidays here only get more expensive.

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Greece tourism feeling the heat?

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 01:47