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Greek Chamber Proposes Vacation Coupon Plan to Stimulate Domestic Tourism

In an attempt to stimulate domestic tourism in the aftermath of the coronavirus (Covid-19) health crisis, the Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EBEA) has proposed the launch of a holiday discount program aimed at some two million Greeks.

To be implemented from 1 July to 31 December 2020, the program will cover the cost of a 5-day holiday at an accommodation facility and destination of choice. Eligible parties will receive a special vacation coupon to be used at any time in the given July-December 2020 period.

Terms for participation in the program will be announced once it is approved and participation will be carried out through an online application procedure. Eligibility will depend on individual or family income on a case-by-case basis, number of children, and insurance requirements.

Photo © GTP

Photo © GTP

The vacation discount program, budgeted at 1 billion euros, was presented by EBEA President Konstantinos Mihalos this week to the ministers of tourism, development & investments, and economy as well as to tourism stakeholders.

“Stimulating domestic demand is a necessary condition for full capacity that will ensure the viability of hotel operations and mark the beginning of a return to normalcy,” said Mihalos.

Mihalos went on to explain that “key source markets for Greek tourism, such as the UK, Germany, Italy and France, have been hit hard, and even if borders are opened and air routes restored, it is questionable whether tourists will make booking until the end of the year.”

Photo source: Region of Attica

Photo source: Region of Attica

Based on the most optimistic outlook, Mihalos said he expects hotels to reopen in July.

“At the foundation of this optimistic scenario, domestic tourism will set the market into motion as international arrivals are expected to be delayed due to the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases internationally. Even with fewer overnight stays or with a smaller income, Greeks will be able to travel if the situation in the country normalizes,” he added.

Accommodation facilities across Greece will be participating in the program.

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About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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