The parameters that will contribute to the safe opening of tourism for the Greek islands of the South Aegean in 2021 were examined during a recent meeting between Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and the region’s governor, George Hatzimarkos.
During the meeting, special reference was made to the South Aegean’s tourism performance in the summer of 2020, which also saw the successful handling of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic on its islands.
It is noted that five Greek islands of the South Aegean Region – Rhodes, Kos, Santorini, Mykonos and Karpathos – welcomed more than 1.5 million visitors in 2020, from when Greece opened its borders on July 1, following the Covid-19 lockdown, until the first week of November. Out of the region’s visitors, 600,000 were recorded to have landed on the island of Rhodes for holiday.
Theoharis and Hatzimarkos agreed that the experience gained in managing the global health crisis in 2020 will significantly contribute to the safe planning of the upcoming tourism season, always in connection with the development of epidemiological data from the countries from which Greece draws tourists.
“The safe opening of tourism for the upcoming season is our first goal, while good cooperation and persistent preparation are prerequisites to accomplish what we did in 2020. We have the valuable experience of managing the epidemiological crisis, which gives us the optimism and strength that we will succeed again this year,” the region’s governor, George Hatzimarkos, said.
Among other things, the governor and the Greek tourism minister discussed the positive, long-term tourism prospects of the South Aegean and focused on specific joint initiatives that will be announced in the near future.
“We are only looking ahead, working consistently and professionally, and we are planning the opening of 2021 in the safest way and as soon as possible,” Hatzimarkos said, adding that he expects the South Aegean to be a “protagonist” in the new era of Greek tourism.