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SETE Chief: Time is Ripe for Greek Tourism Product Upgrade

Kostas Vasiliou, Deputy CEO of Eurobank and Yiannis Retsos President of SETE.

The time is ripe for Greece to upgrade its tourism product and to invest in a new future learning from the weaknesses as these emerged in the aftermath of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

This was the key takeaway of a discussion this week at the online Delphi Economic Forum 2020 with Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos and Eurobank Deputy CEO Konstantinos Vassiliou.

Focusing on tourism in the post-Covid-19 era, Retsos underlined the importance of the sector which sources dozens of other sub-sectors and as such is a key driver of the economy.

“When this phase – the phase of survival – is over, we must draw up our strategy for the future with an enriched product,” said Retsos.

SETE’s chief also referred to the commotion caused by Greece’s newly launched tourism campaign titled “Greek Summer is a State of Mind”, which he described as being positive, and clarified that it was not a campaign as such but an attempt to rebrand in the aftermath of Covid-19; to create a new narrative.

On his part, Vassiliou also spoke of the importance of re-adapting and redefining, referring to Eurobank’s immediate response to the needs of tourism entrepreneurs whose needs changed overnight due to Covid-19.

Eurobank’s program, he said, was “set up given that returning to normalcy would be difficult… making efforts to respond to real needs because today businesses need time and liquidity”.

In this direction, Eurobank launched a new package of funds worth 750 million euros in May to boost the restart efforts of the Greek hotel industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Vassiliou also underlined the importance of “planning and commitment by both sides, bank and entrepreneur” to overcome crisis.

He concluded by adding however that every crisis is an opportunity for reconstruction, “allowing for reflection, to think about one’s strengths and weaknesses and to come back improved”.

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