Covid-19 is estimated at costing the Greek tourism sector some 10 billion euros in 2020, according to the latest report released this week by services firm Ernst & Young (EY).
At the same time, the Greek hotel industry is expected to suffer damages to the tune of 4.46 billion euros: 3.26 billion euros for seasonal hotels and 1.2 billion for hospitality units operating all year round.
Based on World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) data, EY analysts found that coronavirus consequences for the sector will be five times worse than in 2008 at the peak of the economic crisis.
According to the study, the value of tourism goods and services (GVA) is set to drop from 22 billion euros in 2019 to 14 billion euros (in a base case scenario), 12 billion euros (in a worst case scenario) or 16 billion euros (in a best case scenario).
The report goes on to add that in all three scenarios, the biggest decline is expected in the second quarter of 2020 and will range between 41 percent and 53 percent, with the base case scenario estimating contraction at 49 percent.
According to EY analysts, the possible extension of the tourism season will not necessarily cover lost ground but Greece’s good track record in tackling the Covid-19 crisis will give it some headway and possibly a larger share of the market this year.
Stringent health protocols and safety measures are priorities, EY analysts note, in addition to maintaining close contact with suppliers, investors and regulators; ensuring liquidity; proactive management and regular assessment of critical indicators; as well as approaching new markets and creating alliances with countries with similar epidemiological characteristics.
“Few European economies depend on tourism as much as Greece. It is therefore necessary to understand in depth how the international environment is shaped, the developments in rival countries and main source markets, and above all, the impact on our economy,” said Tassos Iossiphides, EY Greece partner, head of Transaction Advisory Services.
Iossiphides added that hoteliers and tourism stakeholders will have to adapt their business models to the next day – “in a different environment from what we have known so far”.