In the coming days, the National Association of Tourist Agencies of Serbia (YUTA) will try to put pressure on the Greek embassy and speak with the relevant Ministry to allow at least Serbian tourism workers to travel to Greece and talk to their holiday partners about the problems they face, i.e. what will happen with the money that people in Serbia paid for their Greek holiday.
YUTA’s director, Aleksandar Senicic, says the goal is to obtain vouchers as a guarantee that the Greeks have received the money from Serbian travel agencies and that Serbian citizens will be refunded the money they have already paid.
By 15th March, Serbian travel agencies transferred 140-150 million euro to holiday accommodation owners across Europe but 90% of the paid trips never happened. Most of that money, close to 90 million euro, ended up in Greece, as advance payment.
“We transferred the money to our holiday partners, but then the trips didn’t happen; we are worried. The Greeks are now saying that they will return the funds only in 2022 without the obligation to keep the accommodation booked for next year, “Senicic said and underlined that the goal is for travel agency representatives to go to Greece to discuss this problem with their Greek holiday partners.
Discover the most important foreign investments in Serbia in 2019: click here!
Senicic estimated that there will likely be a need for government-level talks to resolve the problem and believes that the state must find a way to reach a satisfactory solution for both citizens and travel agencies through bilateral talks.
“Travel agencies could find themselves in trouble next year if, for example, the Greeks decide to sell their already booked and paid accommodation to tourists that are not from Serbia, like Bulgarian or others. There is no way to force the Greeks to cooperate with Serbian travel agencies if they have another plan,” Senicic warned.
He also mentioned another problem – what will happen if one of the Greek holiday partners, goes bankrupt or decides to sell the tourist facility they own?
“We have to talk to the Ministry and the new government and we have to find a model that is acceptable to all countries,” said Senicic.
He went on to say that there were no openings regarding travel to Greece and he expected that the situation at the borders would not change.
Finally, he recalled that Greece has approved a regulation that allows service providers, hoteliers and owners of private tourist accommodation to “not have to immediately refund the money that had already been paid, and postpone the refund by early 2022”.
This post is also available in: Italiano