Hoteliers on Santorini are calling on the Greek government to set a specific date for the re-opening of tourism which will allow travelers, particularly from long-haul markets, to plan ahead and book.
“The sooner the EU and Greece are able to announce that they are opening their borders, the more immediate and measurable the expected results will be even if the date is projected and not final,” said the Santorini Hoteliers Association in a letter to Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis and to tourism stakeholders.
The association said it welcomed Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ vaccination passport proposal and initiative as well as concerted government efforts to restart tourism but underlined that the EU and Greece must set a clear intention of re-opening borders so that tour operators and travelers in important-for-Greece long-haul markets, such as the US, have time to book.
“Without clarity, Americans, and all other travelers, will be reluctant to make reservations. If the Greek government waits until April or May to announce that they are allowing entry from June 1, we will miss at least half of the tourist season,” the association warned.
Santorini hoteliers said their views echo the opinions of other Greek destinations that attract high-spending holidaymakers, including Mykonos, Crete, Corfu and Rhodes.
The association goes on to add that Covid-19 testing – a requirement for return to the US and other destinations 72 hours before travel – should be easy for visitors and carried out in joint communication with the health ministry, medical services, and hotels.
“In this way, visitors will have the confidence that testing will be conducted in an easy manner before their return,” the letter said. As an example, the association cites the Caribbean and Mexico, where resorts offr quick on-the-spot Covid-19 testing for their customers.