Entering the third month of 2020 and a key pre-booking period for the summer tourism season ahead, Greece is faced with two challenges: the refugee crisis and the coronavirus, according to a report released this week by Alpha Bank.
According to the report, which looks into the sector’s prospective performance and risks, the Greek tourism sector is expected to remain resilient in 2020 thanks in large part to its strong brand name and seasonal tourist flows.
More specifically, the majority of tourist arrivals (85 percent) to Greece, are recorded in the May-October period. Analysts expect this seasonal pattern as well as the strengthening of the US dollar against the euro to mitigate the effects of both Covid-19 and the refugee flows. They also add that Greece’s high summer temperatures are expected to put a brake on the further spread of the coronavirus.
Besides the virus, which has so far been successfully contained in Greece compared to other destinations in Europe, the country’s tourism sector suffered a blow in 2019 due to a decline in one of its key source markets: Germany, with the number of travelers dropping by 8.1 percent against a 18.2 percent increase in 2018.
In the year ahead, the Greek tourism sector may also be impacted by the projected slowdown in the Euro area growth rate due to ongoing trade conflicts, geopolitical tensions, increasing refugee flows, and the Covid-19 after-effect, which includes – according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – reduced passenger traffic leading to potential revenue losses in the aviation sector of 29.3 billion dollars in 2020.