Tourism professionals in Halkidiki, Northern Greece, home to some of the country’s finest beaches, is examining the possibility of paying for part of the cost of Covid-19 testing for tourists, Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios recently said.
In an interview to the Athens News Agency, Tasios said that 50 percent of the cost of testing would be covered by the Halkidiki Tourism Organization and the Halkidiki Hotel Association for incoming travelers through the borders. The initiative was first implemented in August last year.
“We want to repeat it [the initiative] this year in a more targeted manner from the start of the season so as to enhance the visibility of the destination,” said Tasios.
According to POX president, tourists visiting Halkidiki will present their test together with the receipt at hotel or accommodation check-in and will then be reimbursed half of the amount paid.
He added that Covid-19 testing in Balkan countries currently costs approximately 100 euros per person, “which is a considerable sum for a family”, he said.
Tasios underlined that safe travel and tourism to the country can only start with either “vaccination certificate or rapid test or molecular test”, which is mandatory, he said.
Looking ahead, Tasios underlined that “rigorous efforts” were being made to open borders for Orthodox Easter but that a clearer forecast for the season ahead would be made at the end of March.
“Orthodox Easter is a big bet for Northern Greece, because we have Orthodox neighbors, our fellow Bulgarians, Romanians and Serbs. I estimate, however, that tourism will pick up from June onwards,” he concluded.