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Greek Tourism Industry Welcomes Restart Support Measures

Greek tourism stakeholders welcomed sector support measures announced on Wednesday by the government describing these as a first step in the right direction to recover lost ground after the Covid-19 health crisis.

Yiannis Retsos, SETE

SETE President Yiannis Retsos

Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos expressed his satisfaction with the government’s plan which “protects labor and aims to mitigate the considerable losses expected in 2020… but there are still areas requiring significant improvements and initiatives, both with regard to labor and tax issues, extending VAT reductions to accommodation, tourist package services and marine tourism”, he said.

Retsos added that the tourism sector will yet again be in the frontline in the battle for Greece’s economic recovery once borders open on July 1.

Alexandros Vassilikos, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels

The Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) also welcomed the measures adding that “additional clarifications and specialization will be needed” depending on the pandemic’s evolution and the available funding options.

“This year’s tourism season is a complex puzzle that has no easy solutions and the only goal is to save what can be saved,” said HCH President Alexandros Vassilikos.

Grigoris Tasios, Hellenic Hoteliers Federation

POX President Grigoris Tasios.

POX President Grigoris Tasios.

On his part, Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios said the support measures, including the reduction in VAT were positive, but referred to additional areas requiring clarifications including health protocols, the abolition of a stayover tax and the reduction of 6 percent VAT on accommodation.

Andreas Andreadis, former SETE president

On his part, former SETE president and Sani/Ikos Group CEO Andreas Andreadis described the measures as “practical and feasible” and said the sector was awaiting details on health protocols and bilateral agreements on tourism.

Vassilis Korkidis, Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Lastly, representing the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, its president Vassilis Korkidis referred to Greece’s leading role as the international “momentum” to restart tourism picks up.

“Greece is in the leading positions with regard to recommendations made by tour operators for destinations with greater security,” said Korkidis, adding that it is time for the country to capitalize on its positive health and coronavirus crisis management record.

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