According to an Economist report last week, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic is expected to impact Greece’s tourism sector more than in any other country in the eurozone.
Referring to Greece’s improving economy after a nearly 10-year depression and expectations for a positive 2020 relying in large part on tourism, the report cites analyst Jakob Suwalski of the Scope credit rating agency, who predicts that in the aftermath of Covid-19, Greece faces the most serious disruption of all eurozone economies, forecasting a drop from 7 percent to 18 percent in GDP this year.
The report points out that no other euro area country besides Cyprus is more dependent on tourism than Greece, where tourism accounted for half of economic growth in 2018, more than 20 percent of GDP (90 percent in the southern Aegean region) and a quarter of the country’s jobs.
Although, the report notes, market capitalisation at the Athens Stock Exchange rose by a considerable 47 percent in 2019, Covid-19 has forced people to stop traveling at the same time, hotels across the country have closed. The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) said the cancelation of travel plans are expected to lead to a loss of half a billion euros.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly said that Greece can still protect its economy.