Greek destinations, where strict coronavirus (Covid-19) measures (emergency restrictions) have been imposed due to epidemiological reasons (high number of cases), will receive extra exposure in the country’s tourism promotion program next year, according to Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.
“These destinations, from Crete to Northern Greece, will receive special treatment so we can recover lost ground,” Theoharis said while speaking at the Thessaloniki Helexpo Forum on Monday.
It is noted that, due to a spike in Covid-19 cases, emergency restrictions are currently imposed on various destinations in Greece such as Lesvos, Zakynthos, Mykonos, Halkidiki and Crete (Chania and Heraklion).
“We will unfold our program during a year that will continue to face several difficulties, as in 2021 we still do not know when a vaccine will come or when we will see a solution to this pandemic drama,” he said.
“The financial issue in tourism will be here for both the winter and next spring, until the season starts running properly again,” Theoharis said.
According to recent data, the Greek tourism sector is expected to see revenue up to only between 3.5 – 4 billion euros for the whole year of 2020, compared to over 18 billion euros in 2019, due to the pandemic.
Greece’s message abroad to focus on quality tourism
As underlined by the minister, Greece’s message to markets abroad next year will be one that will focus on the quality tourism offered in the country.
“We have to look ahead… We must build on the brand of Greece that overall came out a winner this year, despite the unprecedented situation created by the pandemic,” he said.
Moreover, Theoharis said that the ministry plans to also focus on more strategic actions that include strengthening tourism education and implementing projects, through the recovery fund, relating to sustainable tourism and digital technology integration.
Referring to the aim of attracting tourists to Greece all year round, he said that the ministry is in the process of creating airline support programs that will bring tourists to the country during the off season and which will be coordinated with respective airport support programs.