17 February 2012

From the Guardian - thank heavens for small mercies!

There is a lot more to the article, including a brief analysis of what could happen with a return to the drachma if it should ever happen, but generally speaking it is considerably more sensible than most of what is currently beng printed.

The number of people planning to visit Greece has slightly increased from 8%-9% over the past 12 months, research shows

The Greek islands are still a popular destination for UK tourists despite the ongoing social and economic turmoil. Photograph: Getty
Riots in Athens and economic turmoil have failed to dent holiday bookings to Greece, holiday and research companies are reporting.

The number of people planning to visit Greece has slightly increased from 8% in February 2011 to 9% in February 2012, according to independent market research company BDRC Continental.

Steve Mills, a director of the company, said this was "positive for Greece considering the turmoil, and in marked contrast to Egypt where the percentage considering a holiday has declined from 8% down to 6%."

Travel website HomeAway said booking enquiries were up 32% in January 2012 compared to the same month in 2011. Spokeswoman Sarah Chambers said: "We experience growth in overall enquiries every year, but this is above the site average, so indicates Greece is doing fine."

The travel group Tui, which includes the Thomson and First Choice brands, said its bookings were in line with expectations. "Our customer service teams have not noticed an increase in calls from concerned customers regarding their holidays to Greece. The protests are happening on the mainland, a considerable distance from the islands to which we operate," a spokeswoman said.

"We believe consumer confidence has not been impacted by these protests in Athens, and we have no major concerns heading into the busy summer season. It is very much business as usual in our resorts and we will continue to closely monitor the situation."