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.
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
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.