Travel with Katie Butler: Thousands flee wildfires in Greece

​This week I am writing from our balcony in Tenerife with a pot of Yorkshire Tea.
Wildfire in the southern part of the Greek island of Rhodes, on July 25. Photo: Getty ImagesWildfire in the southern part of the Greek island of Rhodes, on July 25. Photo: Getty Images
Wildfire in the southern part of the Greek island of Rhodes, on July 25. Photo: Getty Images

Katie Butler writes: Although we are all-inclusive, we always bring a pack of tea from home.

You can’t beat an early morning cuppa sat on your balcony before the sun comes up.

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This week our thoughts and prayers go out to the nationals of Rhodes and Corfu and of course the holidaymakers who have been evacuated from their hotels due to the ongoing wildfires on the country’s islands.

Hundreds of tourists were evacuated from at least two hotels on the island of Rhodes and were advised to head to the beach for safety.

An update to the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office) advice stated that the Greek government had established a Crisis Management Unit to facilitate the evacuation.

TUI and Jet2 cancelled flights last week to Rhodes.

However, this is a fluid and fast changing situation and of course many parts of the island are unaffected.

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At the time of writing we are still waiting for updated information.

We have of course been keeping a very close eye on our own customer bookings – both in resort and for those due to travel in the coming weeks.

Thankfully, all our customers currently staying on both islands are staying in unaffected areas and are safe and well.

We do however, have many forward bookings due to travel, and we will of course be in touch with updated information as soon as we have it.

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At this time, it does look as though holidays to unaffected areas will still go ahead.

Those due to travel to affected areas will be given the option to cancel with a full refund, or change to a different holiday destination.

This of course, only applies to those booked on a package holiday, and so again if you have booked your flights and hotels separately you will need to contact both your airline and accommodation supplier to rearrange or receive a refund, if you are able to.

Foreign office minister Andrew Mitchell said last week: “It is important to remember that only ten per cent of the island of Rhodes is affected by these wildfires, and therefore it is the tourist companies and the holiday experts who are best placed to give guidance on whether or not a family or individuals’ holidays are going to be ruined by these events.”

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Meanwhile, ABTA announced that the situation in Corfu is quite different to Rhodes as the wildfire is much smaller and affecting significantly fewer holidaymakers.

Our holiday in Tenerife has been a blast and next week I will update you on our adventures, and of course the return airport experience, as departing from many countries has been very different since the UK left the EU.

Back in the shop, the girls have once again been busy with late bookings.

And of course – looking after our bookings affected by the wildfires.

Thirty-eight per cent of bookings last week were to travel on late deal holidays – travelling within 12 weeks of booking date.

Again Majorca and Turkey were the top selling destinations.