Greece’s travel receipts from abroad are expected to reach only 3 billion euros in 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19), Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos said on Tuesday.
Speaking during the 4th conference of the Circle of Ideas think tank, Retsos said that the confederation’s initial forecast for 4-5 billion euros of annual tourism revenues does not seem feasible.
“The [coronavirus] pandemic is unpredictable. We initially thought it would subside during the summer months and that a second wave would come in the fall. However, the pandemic got worse in July, preventing more tourism markets from opening while forcing others to close or impose quarantine measures. A safe forecast for 2020 would be that overall tourism revenue from international travel will reach around 3 billion euros,” Retsos said.
It is reminded that Greece’s tourism revenues reached 18 billion euros in 2019.
Meanwhile, according to Retsos, it is difficult see the end of the crisis since tourism depends on many different factors including air connection, tour operators and accommodation providers.
In the best-case scenario, a vaccine for Covid-19 will be available by early 2021, and people may start traveling again from the second semester of next year with the capacity of airlines reaching 60 percent.
“In this case, Greece could regain 50 percent of last year’s revenues,” Retsos said.
SETE’s president also underlined that the crisis is also an opportunity for Greek tourism to prepare and make significant reforms as well as claim a share from the “Next Generation EU” Recovery Fund that focuses on sustainable development, digitalization and infrastructure.
According to Retsos, these are the key areas for the future development of Greek tourism.
SETE’s research department recently released the significant role of the tourism sector on growth and employment in Greece in 2019 before the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis. Press here to see the data.