Greek Hoteliers Chief Calls for Common EU Plan to Ensure Safe Travel
Hoteliers in Greece are calling for a common EU strategy in travel and tourism that will ensure the free movement of people, as well as their safety, amid the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
“Greek hoteliers are concerned because the European Union has yet to come up with a common plan for the movement of people between European countries,” Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios said during a recent interview on olumpusmera.gr.
According to Tasios, the vaccine is a key element for the restart of tourism but also for the economic development of all countries. However, it still remains unclear whether a vaccine against Covid-19 or a PCR test will be required for people to travel.
“We have to decide whether the vaccine will become a sort of a ‘health passport’ and what will happen with the people that will not get vaccinated. Will they be able to travel by providing a negative PCR test or a rapid test? A ‘health passport’ would be a solution for tourism-related businesses – airlines, hoteliers etc – and could ensure health and safety within Greece,” Tasios said.
Almost zero bookings for 2021
Hoteliers in Greece still have many vouchers from customers that booked and paid for their vacation in 2020 but were unable to travel due to the pandemic. However, according to Tasios there are “almost zero bookings” for 2021.
Referring to central Macedonia, Tasos noted that there is not any indication for plans of tourists from two source markets, namely the UK and Germany, which are under strict lockdown, as well as from countries of the Balkan region.
Tasios estimated that Greek hospitality will start to recover from 2022 onwards based on the data available so far.
“We expect the traveling experience to change since our lives have changed. Health is above all – now more than ever- and there are many other issues related to safety that have come up since the start of the pandemic. This is an incident that occurs once in 100 years. We must organize and prepare to meet the challenges ahead,” he concluded.