UPDATE June 29, 2015
Tourists are being advised to carry cash to pay for expenses in Greece as the country’s financial crisis worsens.
Automated-teller machines are running dry and many businesses are no longer accepting credit cards. The Greek government is also closing its banks for six days to prevent the banking system from collapsing.
Foreign visitors who find themselves unable to pay for services or meals may have to cut short their holidays, while those who are booked to visit Greece during the peak holiday season may have to reconsider their plans.
Last year, tourism directly contributed €17 billion (US$19 billion), or 9% of Greece’s gross domestic product.
“There are many rumours about capital controls so I am asking clients for cash, as returns from credit cards won’t be readily available,” Apostolis Gionas, a souvenir-shop owner in the central Athens district of Plaka, told the Wall Street Journal.
“In return I offer them discounted prices, but many tourists just leave. Every day that passes we are heading closer to total financial ruin.”