Greek tourism stakeholders are counting on the country’s strong brand name to play a key role in the sector’s recovery after the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic subsides, according to a study released this week by SETE Intelligence (INSETE), the Greek Tourism Confederation’s (SETE) research body.
According to INSETE analysts, safeguarding Greece’s reputation for quality and safety is the top priority.
“Preserving ‘brand Greece’ for recovery is necessary. Greece has demonstrated many times that it responds successfully to difficulties. This is also evident at this time. All necessary measures have been taken in a timely manner to contain the spread of the virus and citizens are responding. To date, Greece has demonstrated responsibility and seriousness in the European and international environment, from which it will benefit in the future as long as it continues in this direction at the same pace and according to plan,” the INSETE report reads.
Titled “The Covid-19 Pandemic and Greek Tourism”, the study evaluates the factors that affect the course of tourism and assesses the travel receipt data of 10 of Greece’s top source markets – Germany, UK, US, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Belgium – which account for 2/3 of all revenues.
According to the analysis, the wide dispersion of Greece’s visitor base is an advantage that gives the country the opportunity to attract visitors from various markets as they recover from the coronavirus outbreak, while also building on its own success in containing the spread of the virus and low infection and death rates compared to rival country destinations.
According to INSETE, once restrictions are lifted and considering that the desire for travel will have picked up, there is a possibility that there will be a comparatively higher demand for travel services in the fourth quarter of 2020, even as early as September.
“Of course, a precondition for all the above, apart from the health aspect, is that the businesses of the country’s tourism sector have not been severely affected if the pandemic extends for a long time. For this reason, supporting businesses, workers and the wider economy until the crisis is normalized, must be a major concern of the country’s policies. The structure and scope of economic policy decisions at a European level is a crucial contributor to this,” INSETE notes.
In the meantime, losses in tourism-related revenue for 2020 will be extensive, according to the research body, particularly in view of the fact that Q2 (accounting for 26 percent of all revenue) has been lost. Remaining quarterly performance based on 2019 data: Q1: 4 percent, Q3: 59 percent, and Q4: 11 percent.
Analysts go on to note that data on previous international tourism crises in the last two decades reveal a recovery period in the following year with an upturn in revenues at a much later date with an unequal comeback in terms of destination and impacted sector.
On Thursday, Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis 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”.