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Greek PM Sets Target to Save 2020 Tourism Amid Covid-19 Crisis

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (left) during a video conference with tourism stakeholders on Thursday.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (left) during a video conference with tourism stakeholders on Thursday.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis set the agenda on Thursday for the next day in tourism, after the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic subsides, underlining the importance of swiftly covering lost ground and safeguarding businesses and jobs.

The Greek PM discussed the next day in tourism, during a video conference with his cabinet and tourism sector decision-makers which included Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis; SETE President Yiannis Retsos; SETE VP and AEGEAN Chairman, Eftichios Vassilakis; SETE Board Member and Athens International Airport CEO, Yiannis Paraschis; and the Chief Creative Officer of the Greek government, Steve Vranakis.

Besides the assessment of damages created by the coronavirus health crisis, Mitsotakis and his aides discussed ways to restore tourism flows to the country, adding that the government’s priority is to find ways to mitigate the negative repercussions Covid-19 has left behind while supporting tourism enterprises and employees.

Goal for 2020

“We are very well aware that the effects of this crisis on tourism will be significant. Our goal for 2020 is to reduce, as much as possible, the negative consequences given the uniqueness of our product, which is that the largest volume of visitors comes to Greece in July, August and September,” said Mitsotakis.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The Greek PM referred to the trust Greece has managed to preserve throughout the unprecedented global health crisis, which will “allow us, I believe, to formulate the best possible strategy to save what we can of this year’s tourism season but also to set the foundations for a much better season in 2021”.

In this direction, Mitsotakis said, the Greek government and sector experts were looking into innovative solutions to support tourism and referred in this context to the #greecefromhome initiative, among others.

“I want to congratulate all the contributors of the “Greece From Home” initiative as it is really a global innovation, which highlights the ingenuity of Greece in dealing with this crisis,” the prime minister said, adding that the government’s goal is to cement policies that will have a direct positive effect on the country’s tourism industry.

Minister: Tourism is a national affair

During the video conference, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis presented a plan aimed to “restart” the Greek tourism industry.

“Together with SETE and the other tourism bodies, we will focus on specific proposals for the next day. Tourism is a national affair. With a strong strategy and hard work we will succeed,” the minister said on social media after the conference.

SETE: The cooperation continues

SETΕ President Yiannis Retsos speaking during the video conference (top right corner).

On his part, after the video conference, SETΕ President Yiannis Retsos informed that significant issues concerning Greek tourism’s “restart”; sustainability; and the competitiveness of businesses, were raised on his part.

“The importance of joint actions for restarting the economies of countries on a European level was emphasized,” Retsos said in a LinkedIn post.

SETE’s president also brought to the table proposals concerning the liquidity of businesses that included an income tax exemption this year; a reduction of the VAT charged on accommodation, F&B, package travel and domestic transport; and helping tourism workers that have been left unemployed.

Moreover, Retsos he focused on ways to strengthen the cooperation between the public and private sector on promotional activities for Greece. “The cooperation continues,” he said.

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  1. JUDI BALCERZAK Reply

    We would like to know if Greek tourism will be open to people from the USA in September/October 2020? How difficult will it be for healthy,non-COVID 19 infected persons to enter the country and tour independently?

  2. Lynne Reply

    We own a small Hotel on Aegina Island and agree that the season should be extended. We open all year round but it is hard when the beaches and some restaurants close at the end of September. I would love to know what the Government is offering our business to help us survive this season. We have now been closed since the Government announced the lockdown and with the world economies going into decline because of the Covid-19 outbreak how can we insure any business this year? A large percentage of our business is to foreign tourists who are now canceling bookings and for good reason.

  3. Carl Simpson Reply

    Every headline the same but no real mention of extending the season October,November wasted, it was nice weather until the first week in December 2019. Use the winter months to extend the season then the airlines will keep routes to greece open longer.

    • Patrick Reply

      Yes, true!

      The fact of the matter is, they won’t be able to save the summer, whatever measures they consider……

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