Showing a stronger focus on domestic tourism this year is considered to be one of Greece’s most likely solutions in order to salvage whatever can be saved from the 2020 season due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, according to the Greek Tourism Ministry.
Referring recently to the blow the country’s tourism sector has received due to the pandemic, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis stressed that no one expected such a crisis, nor can anyone predict when it will end.
“Domestic tourism will be one of the ways to support the industry in this very difficult year,” the minister told the media during a web press conference held to introduce the new Greece From Home platform.
“We are concerned about the possibility of all businesses surviving, which however does not only depend on our country,” he said, underlining that Greece’s tourism performance will be affected by decisions taken by the governments of other countries that have been hit hard by the pandemic. Covid-19 has hit a number of Greece’s main tourism markets, including Italy, the UK and Germany.
Without going into specifics, the minister said that the ministry would focus on supporting demand for Greece at a national and European level and also focus on domestic tourism.
The minister said that a crucial factor to save the 2020 tourism year is Greece’s ability to deal with the health threat effectively.
“The first concern remains the safety of citizens and tourists, but there are obvious benefits if – compared to the international average- we deal effectively with the pandemic,” he said.
The faster Greece’s borders open, the better for tourism
Moreover, the minister said that – with safety as the number one priority – if Greece’s borders open earlier compared to other markets, the country will have a comparative advantage.
Greece will also look to save the 2020 tourism year by expanding the season to the shoulder months, as there will most likely be demand from the first half of the year, considering that there is no “second wave” of the coronavirus in autumn – a possibility that has not been ruled out by experts.
According to Minister Theoharis, although this year started with an upward trend of 24 percent and was paving the way for a new record in Greek tourism, the country now has to “rebuild” many things from the beginning.
“The goal now is to safely overcome this unprecedented situation, so that we have a speedy recovery,” the minister said.