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Thomas Cook Casts Shadow Over World Tourism Day for Greek Professionals

World Tourism Day (WTD) on Friday, September 27, did not find Greece’s tourism and hospitality bodies in a celebratory mood as they are still picking up the pieces from the recent collapse of Thomas Cook.

Following the UK tour operator’s shutdown, the Greek government is moving toward relief measures.

Tasios: Today is not a celebration

“Today is not a day for celebrating,” the president of the Hellenic Hoteliers Federation, Grigoris Tasios, stressed in his official WTD message.

“The day finds global tourism in shock after the collapse of Thomas Cook and its affiliates,” he underlined.

Tasios referred to Thomas Cook’s collapse as an “unprecedented” blow to Greek tourism, “at a time when the country is trying to make its first steps towards regularity”.

More into his message, Tasios calls for action. “Emergencies require urgent measures. The most fast and decisive support for the industry is the sufficient and necessary conditions to deal with this unprecedented situation that poses enormous risks to growth, employment, market functioning, the banking system, social cohesion. Our tourism is for everyone and hotels must live on and remain standing.”

Retsos: One of the biggest crises of recent years

In his message on World Tourism Day, the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Yiannis Retsos,underlined that “one of the biggest crises of recent years is now a fact, and stakeholders need to shape the measures that will ensure a healthy business environment and competitiveness of the Greek tourism product on an international level”.

According to Retsos, the damage – now and in the long-term – will have an incalculable effect on the entire Greek economy and society.

Stressing that tourism can not go ahead “on autopilot” and should not only be evaluated based on figures, Retsos said that SETE is intensifying its efforts for dialogue and cooperation to continue the country’s development prospects.

“To continue to support a better future for all,” Retsos, said in a statement.

World Tourism Day, celebrated worldwide since 1980 by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and commemorated annually on September 27, was celebrated this year on the topic “Tourism and Jobs: a better future for all”.

About the Author
Nikos is Greek-American born in New York, USA, and has lived in Greece for over 30 years. He is the managing editor of Greece's leading monthly travel and tourism guide, the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) since June 2008 and of news site GTP Headlines since its launch in September 2012. Nikos has also served as international press officer for the City of Athens and for the mayor. He has a degree in Mass Media and Communications, specializing in Journalism. Nikos is a native English speaker and speaks Greek fluently.

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