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Greece Tables Tourism Recovery Recommendations to Commission

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis made a series of recommendations for the post-Covid-19 recovery of tourism in a letter to European Commissioner Thierry Breton, including the introduction of shared rules so as to restore confidence among the traveling public.

Theoharis sent a letter to Breton, who oversees upcoming EU legislation, ahead of an EU tourism ministers conference scheduled for Monday.

Among the issues highlighted are the introduction of EU-wide vaccination certificates, rapid test availability and control protocols, the resolution of technical issues related to the PLF (Passenger Locator Form) and the creation of a common European PLF form, establishing common travel rules both for EU states and with third countries, creating “free travel zones” between countries or regions based on epidemiological situation and vaccination rollout, hygiene protocols, and a temporary framework for state aid. 

The Greek minister referred to the importance of “immediate actions” and “short-term solutions” that will as a first step enable safe non-essential travel for the upcoming summer season.

He added, that medium- and long-term measures are also crucial in order to help “rebuild the tourism industry”, making it resilient, sustainable and ready for growth.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

Theoharis underlined the importance of shared rules and a common framework of operation for enterprises across the Union, adding that the creation of a Tourism Competitiveness Council would go a long way toward the promotion of tourism-related matters in the EU.

In addition to the council, he recommended the creation of an overseeing mechanism that will keep an eye on growth as well as the formulation of an EU tourism strategy for the decade ahead. 

“Preserving skills, achieving digital and green transition, but also preparing a comprehensive plan for tourism with the participation of experts, are actions of utmost importance,” said Theoharis.

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