US ranks Greece at lowest risk level for tourists


US Ambassador to Athens, Geoffrey R. Pyatt, expressed his expectation to see more US tourists in Greece during the coming season, on the occasion of the country’s ranking at the State Department’s new Travel Advisory Program. In particular, Greece was ranked amongst the least risky countries in terms of safety and security:

“Greece at the best level of the State Department’s new Travel Advisory Program. I’m looking forward to seeing even more American tourists here in Greece in the year ahead”, Pyatt wrote on his personal twitter account. The State Department’s new Travel Advisory Program, launched today, assigns every country a level of advice ranging from one to four. Greece received a Level One -Exercise Normal Precautions- rating that should have American tourists packing their bags to visit the country.

US Department’s new Travel Advisory Program, published on Wednesday, replaces standard travel warnings and emergency travel updates, while aiming to provide American travelers with clear, timely and reliable information on the security levels worldwide. The US Program ranks countries at four levels of security while giving a description of the risks and ways of reaction. Specifically, depending on the risk to the safety of US travelers, at Level One are countries for which the normal precautions are recommended, at Level Two are countries for which increased caution is recommended, at Level Three are countries for which a review of travel is recommended and at Level Four are countries for which it is recommended not to travel.

“Domestic strikes, demonstrations, and work stoppages are common throughout Greece and can become violent. Stay informed through local news, hotel security, the Embassy website, and the Consular Section’s facebook page. Transportation sector strikes interrupt traffic, public transportation, taxis, seaports, and airports. Reconfirm domestic and international flights before heading to the airport. Avoid all areas affected by the annual November 17 demonstrations (noted on our website) that week, including the US Embassy. Anarchists and criminals have used university campuses as refuges. Demonstrators frequently congregate in the Polytechnic University area; Exarchia, Omonia, and Syntagma Squares in Athens; and at Aristotle Square, Aristotle University, and the Kamara area in Thessaloniki. Violent anarchist groups have joined public demonstrations to clash with police and vandalize public and private property”, US State Department’s Travel Advisory on Greece reads among others.