Specialist tour operators working out of the UK are calling on Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis to support their efforts to rekindle travel to Greece days ahead of the country’s reopening to the UK market.
Participating in a teleconference on Monday, British specialist tour operators representing companies such as Sunvil, Mark Warner, and Neilson urged Theoharis to take action and help them resolve access issues due to the coronavirus crisis which have resulted in certain airlines not operating flights to regional destinations.
Also participating in the event were Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (FEDHATTA) President Lyssandros Tsilidis, Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) Nikos Kelaiditis, the European Travel Agents’ and Tour Operators’ Association (ECTAA), and tourism ministry officials.
Theoharis updated participants on measures currently being implemented at airports countrywide and on health protocols in effect at hotels.
Greece has said it will open to British travelers on July 15.
Theoharis also referred to the launch of Greece’s restart tourism campaign aimed at extending the tourism season.
Among other things, the participating tour operators from Britain referred to their contribution in promoting lesser-known destinations in Greece, which they said, rely heavily on their customers.
A top priority for the specialist tour operators given the ongoing Covid-19 crisis is to ensure consistency with regard to health standards and measures as well as timely information so as to maintain trust among potential customers and retain bookings.
Meanwhile, speaking to News247, Tsilidis said that “60-65 percent of travelers who booked have deferred their holidays to next year; 15 percent have canceled; and 20 percent said they will travel when the airports open”.
Tsilidis said he estimates Greece achieving “15-20 percent of last year’s arrivals… with lots of work”.