Thirsty for Travel: How to seize the opportunity and stay safe in a world of digital payments

The mask is off, the travel is on. Since the pandemic restrictions were loosened, the flow of tourists to Greece has continued

Greek tourism is recovering from a tough pandemic time at a rapid rate. This is proven by the data of the Bank of Greece, in May 2022, the country’s travel income was 536.4% higher compared to a year ago1, while July’s tourism revenues reached 3.723 billion euros. However, there are new challenges ahead for the industry: the specter of inflation in Europe, uncertainty over the war and COVID-19 situation development this fall. How to face these difficulties and carry business safely through this period?

The mask is off, the travel is on. Since the pandemic restrictions were loosened, the flow of tourists to Greece has continued. Arrivals at the country’s 14 regional airports this August were up by 9.4%, compared to 20193, the calendars of hoteliers and tour operators for August/September have been bursting at the seams, too, with strong bookings until -at least- the end of October. Not surprisingly, tourism-related revenues, which have already reached high levels by early summer, are expected to reach €20 billion this year, also thanks to the extension of the tourism season4.

Nonetheless, everyone in the industry is still suspended in anticipation, for a future that is hard to predict. Raging prices, inflation and general uncertainty confront industry representatives with the (rather daunting) possibility of undergoing last year’s hardships again. Cancellation of trips, empty hotels and restaurants are the bane of the Greek travel industry – however, there are some ways to help secure one’s position there already, and help build an image as a modern, resilient business.

How to avoid possible losses (and strengthen the market position)?

Although there is no single answer to it, there are tips that could potentially help merchants. One option is to work with certified payment providers that offer a wide range of solutions for business. Familiar, international payment methods can help build company’s credibility, increasing tourists’ confidence and reassuring them that their funds will be transferred safely, regardless of the international economic climate. It is also good to pay attention to make the entire process as simple and accessible as possible.

“It is worth focusing on providing travelers with the best online service when they book trips or pay for other services. Today, up to 38% of customers abandon a transaction if the chosen form of payment is not available5, so diversifying them gives business a big advantage. What’s more, payments seem much simpler if customers can make them in their own currency. At PayPal, for example, there are as many as 25 currencies, which covers the demand for the most common requests”, said Efi Dahan, General Manager, Central & Eastern Europe, Russia & Israel at PayPal.

With PayPal, travelers can also make payments from almost anywhere in the world and feel confident that their financial information is stored and processed in a safe way. And while it’s impossible to predict what will happen in the months ahead, it’s a good idea to take care of the customer even now, as a smart investment in the future.

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