Greek island holidays and Brexit
Andy Cornish: June 2016
Greek islands holiday visitors can expect to pay more for their holidays following the dramatic vote to leave the EU.
Greek tourism officials are warning of 'unforeseeable consequences' for the tourism industry in the wake of the Brexit vote.
An estimated 2.4 million UK tourists visited Greece in 2015 around 10% of the total visitor numbers making the UK the second biggest market after Germany.
The Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) say summer this year will see little changes to their holiday
But the huge drop in the value of the British Pound already threatens to make Greek holidays more expensive and worse is to come.
Prolonged political uncertainty and a volatile exchange rate are expected to hit holiday sales all over Europe.
Every year, Brits make more than 29 million visits to EU countries, 76% of the total trips abroad.
Until the break with the EU is made official under Article 50 of the EU constitution travellers are still as free to move between the UK and the EU as they have been for many years.
European Health Insurance cards remain valid and EU regulations such as Air Passenger Rights remain in place for now.
Once the UK formally notifies the EU of its intention to leave under Article 50, the UK has two years to negotiate its relationship with Europe.
Holiday travel matters that could then be affected include EU regulations on financial protection for package tours, compensation for flight delays,free health coverage through the European Health insurance, credit card and mobile phone charges.
Another big impact on the cost of Greek holidays could be the ending of the open skies agreement across the EU that has prompted the growth of more routes to Greek island holiday destinations, particularly by low-cost airlines.
ABTA has published a guide on how Brexit could affect holidays abroad generally.
It says current UK passports will remain valid until the UK officially leaves the EU and can use the usual airport queue for EU nationals and use duty-free shops as before.
Pre-booked package holidays should not be affected by changes in the value of the British Pound but holidayers will get less for their money if they use money exchanges and it will be more expensive to buy things like meals and drinks.
The UK Treasury predicts that sterling would lose 12-15 % cent of its value on the Brexit vote. Longer term, the key rates against the euro is crucial but the fall in sterling against the dollar will also push up the price of petrol, diesel and aviation fuel,
The weaker pound will almost certainly have an impact on the cost of flights in the short term.
Anyone booking own trip to Greece may have to pay more for accommodation or a rental car,
So Brexit is unlikely to have much of an impact on Greek Island holidays in the short term but it could mean Brits taking fewer holidays abroad in the longer term, particularly as the divorce from the EU will probably have a negative impact on jobs and prosperity at home.