With the Greece debt crisis, shaking different sectors, tourism is one segment which experts feel won’t be affected so badly. Greece receives a considerable number of travellers from India and still growing year on year. The Greece economy debacle will majorly depreciate the value of Euro, which in turn will play a major role in the tourism industry as it may increase the outbound tourism from India to Europe.
Guldeep Singh Sahni, president, Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI) said, “We will have to wait and watch in this situation. It is not that the entire Greece will close down due to the financial crisis. There will be a certain impact on tourism, but Greece will definitely do its best to revive those products which are of a major part of their tourism. Tourism will definitely play a major role for them in resolving some part of the crisis. Hence, I foresee a temporary slump, but not a long term one.”
Last year the OTOAI had signed an MoU with Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) from Greece and 70 members went to experience the destination first hand so as to able to sell and market Greece in India with more knowledge and competence.
Speaking about the MoU, Sahni said, “We will honour our MoU with Greece and won’t let them down in this financial crisis. I think, every country will show up for support. As I said, we will wait and watch and meanwhile will help them whenever they need us. We will also help and promote to increase tourism to Greece from India, but will also see that even our travellers are safe and secure.”
Major tour operators like Cox & Kings have not witnessed any cancellations so far. Speaking about the same, Karan Anand, head- relationships, Cox & Kings said, “There is no impact as the number of people travelling from India to Greece is very small and Indians today have a choice of over 150 countries to travel. Decision to travel depends on the individual and no advisory has been issued. Currently, there have been no cancellations.”
Madhavan Menon, managing director, Thomas Cook India added, “At Thomas Cook India we have taken comprehensive precautionary measures, and being fully hedged, we see zero impact to our businesses, both foreign exchange and leisure. Greece is an attractive destination, and although our standalone numbers are not as significant as other European destinations, a depreciation in the Euro will result in an upside with pricing benefits being passed on to our consumers, giving further impetus to our European uptake- already showing strong growth of over 33 per cent.”