Holiday prices fall over Greek economic uncertainty
Published 23/06/2015 | 02:30
The looming threat of a Greek exit from the eurozone has led to Irish tour operators dropping their prices to unload unsold package holidays.
"Since the end of last week, customers are now paying up to €50 less per person - that wasn't there a few weeks ago," said Lorraine Roche of Torc Travel in Killarney, Co Kerry.
"The older demographic are shying away from Greece, for a variety of reasons, although younger customers still see it as a party place."
She recommended that tourists bring enough money to see them through their holiday, as a currency crisis could result in withdrawals from cash points being restricted.
Shane O'Donoghue, from Limerick Travel on Bedford Row, said the average price of a holiday to Greece has "definitely come down" since last summer.
"Prices have dropped roughly between 10 and 15pc, compared to this time last year. And the cost of last-minute packages have really gone down.
"It's hard to say, but the reduction in price is probably the result of the overall economic situation.
"While there is a belief out there that Greece can be an expensive holiday location, last-minute offers are proving very popular.
"We won't see the true reflection on how the current situation will impact on prices until there is a definite outcome regarding the future of the currency."
Martin Skelly, president of the Irish Travel Agents' Association, said a Greek exit from the eurozone and a devaluation of the Greek currency, could make the country an even more attractive destination for customers.
"It's speculative at this stage, but if Greece leaves the eurozone, I expect prices will drop," he told the Irish Independent.
"I'm confident tourists will, if necessary, get used to using a local currency, although the euro is a hugely convenient business tool."