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Study: Greek Tourism Professionals Expect Drop in Demand for Travel

Greek tourism professionals are pessimistic about the incoming flows of travelers in the months ahead, expecting a decline in demand of up to 51 percent in June and July, according to a second study examining the coronavirus impact carried out by the OpenTourism network in collaboration with the Piraeus University Tourism Department.

The study was conducted on May 22-27 on a sample of 707 sector professionals and 301 visitors aiming to assess change in perceptions after the lockdown measures are lifted.

With regard to demand for the months of August and September, 77.92 percent of tourism professionals polled expect a 21 percent decline in demand.

The majority expect the downward trend to continue into 2021.

On the upside however, respondents believe Greece will emerge with a stronger brand name after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

Covid-19 and the travel industry

In terms of special measures and health protocols announced by the government to be implemented by tourism businesses, sector professionals say they are not satisfied.

Both the visitor (72 percent) and professional (67 percent) segments said they were “absolutely against” the government’s decision not to impose pre-travel Covid-19 screening tests on travelers coming to Greece.

With regard to travel plans, more than half said they would be avoiding travel abroad but will however go on vacation in mainland Greece, preferring to stay at their own or at friends’ holiday cottages and to travel with their own car.

This, the study’s analysts point out, leaves approximately 25-30 percent of all Greeks staying at accommodation facilities or hotels.

The Acropolis, Athens. © GTP

The Acropolis, Athens. © GTP

At the same time, the number of people searching for new destinations to visit is on the rise.

Lastly, in terms of priorities in the post-covid-19 era, 82.55 percent of those polled said enhancing safety measures that ensure the health of visitors and employees was at the top, followed by more research into travel behavior and trends, and more flexible cancelation policies.

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