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WTTC Sees Greece as One of the First Countries Welcoming Back Tourists After Covid-19

Greece could be one of the first countries in Europe to welcome tourists back, once the Covid-19 pandemic has been combatted, according to World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) President & CEO Gloria Guevara.

In its new 2020 Economic Impact Report (EIR) report, the WTTC shows that Greece continued to be one of the strongest European countries in terms of Travel & Tourism growth last year, and that the sector will be key to the country’s economic recovery.

In an announcement, Guevara underlined how fundamental the Travel & Tourism sector was last year to the Greek economy and said the country’s government “must also be applauded” for its incredibly swift response to COVID-19, which saw restrictions in place even before the virus reached the country.

“Since then, the government has worked closely with the public and private sector, ensuring protocols and standards are in place that will not only see the country through to a fast recovery, it could be one of the first countries in Europe to welcome tourists back to its shores,” she said.

WTM London 2018 photo report by Greek Travel Pages

WTTC President & CEO Gloria Guevara.

WTTC’s 2020 Economic Impact Report (EIR) underlines that the Travel & Tourism sector last year support almost 850,000 jobs in Greece, equating to more than one in five of all those in employment.

“Strong growth in the country followed the Governments successful policy which focused on extending the season beyond summer, which led to a rise in visitor numbers outside of the traditional summer season,” she said.

WTTC’s EIR reveals that, between 2016 and 2018, Germany accounted for 14% of all visitors to Greece, with the UK reaching 11%. Visitors from Bulgaria accounted for 10% of all travellers, with Italy and North Macedonia level pegging at 5%.

The report shows that tourism also generated €39.1BN to GDP, or 20.8% to the Greek economy, growing by an incredible 12.1% from the previous year, outpacing the growth of the overall economy for the third consecutive year.

The comprehensive report shows this growth significantly outpaced the overall GDP growth in 2019 of 2.2% in the same year.

Analysis in the WTTC EIR report also showed international visitor spend totaled a staggering 21.3bn. euros, representing almost one third (30.1%) of the country’s total exports.

The report also demonstrates the nation’s need for a swift recovery due to its strong reliance on leisure spending, accounting for 94% of all spend, compared to 6% for business spend. Furthermore, international spend accounted for 68% compared to 32% domestic.

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  1. Gerrit, The Netherlands Reply

    Congratulations to Greece. Happy to have learned that Greece has not been hit hard by the Covid19 virus, compared to many other European countries.
    Opening up for tourists is a welcoming message!
    But having said that, it is unlikely that many visitors will arrive soon. Many scheduled flights are still grounded, at least till end of May and beyond is still a mysterie . And if the planes are in the air again, according the latest info, the 1.5 meter social distancing has to be obeyed. Impossible on flights unless you are willing to pay 6 times the fare. The opening up of the borders of Greece come with a price too. Greece wants tourists to do a test a few days before departure and want them to bring a health certificate. We allready dont have sufficient tests capacity for medical staff. Do you think they will spend the few tests available on tourists? And if the would, a european site from Austria, says that it will cost 190 euro per test. So a family of 4 has to add nearly 800 euro to their budget. Not to mention what happens if they want to travel back to their country and have to meet the same requirements that country asks before entering. Another test?
    I understand the wish of Greece to receive tourists, but the hassle, the extra costs and the uncertainty make it not very tempting. To go to the doctor to get a 190 euro health certificate days before travelling to Greece is simply not how it works with a holiday. It doesnt make sense. I rather go for an alternative

  2. Felice Vittorio Cova Villoresi Reply

    Molto utile, sono più di 55 anni che vengo in Grecia, ho casa ad Alonissos , dato che ho 75 anni, ma sto benissimo, desidererei ritornare anche questa estate con mia moglie Anna Maria Viale marchino.
    Grazie e buona estate 2020 !!!

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