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.
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”.
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”.