Destinations with effective health systems and enforcing stringent hygiene regulations are set to win over future travelers after the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic subsides, according to a new study released this week by the OpenTourism group and the University of Piraeus.
The study, examining the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Greek tourism, is the first to collect data from a sample (on 1,059 people) of both tourists and tourism professionals via questionnaire in the April 7-12 period.
Key findings indicate an agreement by both sides that 2020 will be a bad year for Greek tourism, which they believe is set to recover in 2021.
The majority of respondents said the accommodation, F&B, tour agencies and transport sectors were set to suffer the biggest blow as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Financial uncertainty, reduced income, and business viability both long- and short-term were the consequences of Covid-19 on businesses, according to study participants.
With regard to necessary actions required by businesses in the aftermath of Covid-19, both tourists and business owners said strengthening customer health measures and flexible cancelation policies were priorities.
Travelers also mentioned reduced pricing policies, while business owners called for extensive research into changing tourist behavior.
The study also found that despite the fear for illness and the travel bans worldwide, people are still interested in traveling, seeking relevant information online. Analysts note that online user behavior should be tapped into by businesses active in tourism and travel.
Additionally, respondents were optimistic about the country’s strong brand name with both tourists and entrepreneurs noting that Greece will further strengthen its reputation following the coronavirus pandemic, particularly if it manages to capitalize on its low infection and death rates and on its effective management of the crisis.