Europe’s major tour operators say they are making plans in case Greece leaves the euro zone. Tui Travel has put “contingency plans in place” for this scenario, although it has not indicated what they might involve. It assured that it would “continue to work with our Greek suppliers and hotel partners as we keep a very close eye on the situation”.
It added: “We cannot predict what is going to happen. However, the inherent flexibility in our business model gives us the ability to move capacity dependent on where our customers want to go. For example, last year we moved capacity away from North Africa due to the Arab Spring.”
Tui said it did not believe that holidays would be adversely affected by “civil unrest”, but added that it had procedures in place if anything did occur.
Thomas Cook, meanwhile, is “closely monitoring the evolving situation”. A spokesman for the company told TTG: “We believe there are positives and negatives for the travel industry [if Greece leaves the euro].” Greece remains an important destination for the operator, he stressed.
Separately, Kuoni says it is in talks about new contracts with Greek hoteliers amid the ongoing uncertainty. Kuoni CEO Peter Rothwell: “We prepare for an exit of Greece but we bring that up in talks with our Greek partners. The talks are led by the Scandinavian unit – a Greek is leading there the hotel procurement,” he said. “He has a good network and has the necessary sensitive feeling to do so. Whatever happens, we want to pay a fair price to Greek hoteliers, but we can’t afford to have euro contracts in case people get a new cheaper currency in Greece.”
[photo courtesy Visit Greece]