The recovery of Greece’s tourism industry – from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic – will be a gradual, slow process that will take three to four years, Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos said on Wednesday, during an online discussion with representatives of the country’s banking and industrial sector.
According to Retsos, the year 2021 will be difficult, with the pandemic’s effect on tourism proving worse than expected as indicated by the epidemiological data. However, he expressed certainty that the tourism industry would eventually recover and estimated that it may take up to four years for the sector to reach the record levels of 2019.
Retsos explained that prior to the pandemic, Greek tourism had reached many milestones: Greece ranked 25th in tourism competitiveness on an international level, while the Greek economy was in the 59th spot globally.
In addition, Greece’s brand had become the fifth most powerful in the world, a position that it managed to maintain in 2020, due to the proper handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
SETE’s president reiterated that in order to remain competitive, the Greek tourism sector must offer high-level services. As he said, the projects proposed by SETE coincide with the recovery plan of the Pissarides Committee and could be financed by the EU Recovery Fund and the National Strategic Reference Framework.
Retsos also referred to the need for the development of new tourism infrastructure, which may include a metropolitan congress center in Athens; investments in airports, ports and marinas; targeted interventions on the country’s road network; the interconnection of transport services; and interventions that could create “experiences” for visitors.
Concluding his speech, Retsos said the country had huge potential to attract foreigners that are willing to leave their countries and work in Greece – the so called “digital nomads”, and stressed that the Ministry of Digital Governance has performed “miracles” for the country’s digital transformation.
SETE’s president participated in an online event organized by the Konstantinos Karamanlis Institute for Democracy along with Bank of Greece Deputy Governor Theodore Pelagidis, the President of the Federation of Industries of Greece Thanasis Savvakis and Michael Mitsopoulos, director of the Department of Business Environment and Regulatory Affairs at the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV).