The Greek government is reportedly taking measures ahead of a no-deal Brexit in efforts to facilitate incoming tourists from the UK, which makes up its second largest source market for tourism.
According to a Bloomberg report citing a Greek foreign ministry official, government policy-makers are looking into ways to allow Britons to continue to travel and live in Greece after the UK exits the European Union on March 29.
Indicatively, UK travelers generated over 14 percent of the country’s tourism revenue in the January-November period in 2017. In view of Brexit, the figure dropped last year by 6.2 percent to 1.9 billion euros, as did the number of British visitors, down by 1.7 percent to 2.9 million people in 2018, the Bank of Greece found.
In an attempt to ensure incoming tourism from the UK after Brexit, the Greek government, Bloomberg reports, is exploring the possibility of maintaining visa-free status for UK nationals. At the same time, British citizens living in Greece will not be considered citizens from third countries, or non-EU countries.
The government is set to table draft bills and presidential decrees in this direction should there be a hard Brexit.
In November, the EU proposed visa-free travel for Britons after Brexit, which would allow visa-less travel to the Schengen area for short stays of up to 90 days in any 180-day period applicable as of March 30.
Meanwhile, according to research presented by ForwardKeys at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London last year, booking behavior of British holidaymakers for EU destinations, including Greece, did not appear affected.
The Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA), currently running its “Travel with Confidence” national campaign, reiterated the European Commission’s decision that even in a no-deal Brexit scenario, flights will continue to operate between the UK and EU with no visa requirement.