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SETE Says Health Protocols Highest Priority for Next-day Travel

The recovery of Greece’s tourism sector in the aftermath of Covid-19 is dependent on uniform health protocols which will set safe travel standards and define the terms of hotel and tourism-related business operations, according to the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).

In a letter sent on Monday to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, SETE and the 13 pan-hellenic unions of tourism enterprises that it represents are calling on the government to prioritize the recovery of the tourism sector which was among the few economy drivers before the coronavirus crisis broke out.

The country’s tourism stakeholders, represented in majority by SETE, are focusing the sector’s comeback on four key areas: health protocols to ensure safe travel; subsidy programs throughout 2020 for Covid-19-impacted tourism enterprises and employees; slashing VAT as of June 1; and the suspension of income tax advance payments for 2020 at least.

SETE’s letter comes after Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that year-round hotels in Greece would resume operations as of June 1.

The confederation underlined that the four actions will ensure the viability of tourism businesses and the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product.

According to Q3 2019 data cited by SETE, some 700,000 employees active in the tourism sector will be out of job this year due to the coronavirus impact.

“The coming weeks will ultimately determine the process of restarting the economy and therefore tourism… We are looking forward to your response in order for tourism to continue to support society, the economy, the country,” SETE said in its letter to the Greek PM.

“The sector has supported the country in the difficult years of the financial crisis and in the face of the new challenge, united, and with the appropriate support of the state, will try to make a comeback with as few losses as possible and recover stronger,” SETE President Yiannis Retsos said last week.

SETE’s letter (in Greek) can be read here.

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