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Greece will Have a Better Tourism Year in 2021, Says Minister

Photo source: Greek Tourism Ministry

Greece will welcome visitors who are vaccinated against the coronavirus, have tested negative or recovered from the disease and have antibodies, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis confirmed on Friday.

Speaking to Reuters, Theoharis underlined that tourists that fall into the aforementioned categories will be welcomed to the country, irrespective of any agreements with other countries.

We will have a better year than last year… This is not obvious now because the bookings are depressed… there’s a lot of gloom, a lot of pessimism in the market, but I’m sure in the end my calculation is going to be correct,” he told the news agency.

The Greek tourism minister’s statements came days after he announced that Greece will open to tourism by May 14 under the slogan “All you want is Greece”.

Underlining that 2020 was the worst year on record for global tourism according to the UNWTO, Theoharis said that only 7.4 million people traveled to Greece last year, down from a record 31.3 million in 2019. The country saw its tourism revenues drop to 4 billion euros from 18 billion in 2019

Moreover, the minister dismissed criticism that tourism increased new Covid-19 infections in Greece last year.

“The second wave which engulfed all of Europe roughly at the end of October, beginning of November, came to Greece at exactly the same time, perhaps even a couple of weeks later,” he told Reuters.

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  1. Gina Elizabeth DeShera Reply

    I am a vaccinated US citizen and I hoping this May 15 date is true for US citizens as well. I would love to spend my money in Greece this summer. I also don’t mind getting testing before flying or when I arrive, and don’t mine wearing a mask indoors or when you can’t be socially distanced.

  2. Robert Ferguson Reply

    It would cost a family of four £480 to get tested before arriving in Crete, many have lost jobs in the UK or lost their business, many are going to stay at home. We travelled last year, but with the mask wearing and reduced n menu’s it was no fun.
    We have booked this year but as time goes on with more and more restrictions, we are getting to wonder if we are going to bother we love Crete and have been going for years, our three weeks there already costs us over £4000 for self catering accommodation, travel and spending money, with out adding more costs for virus testing

  3. Henry Beutler Reply

    Je but the have a better year the have to,open before 16 mai

  4. Clément Reply

    After more than 4 months of asphyxia of the country and its obvious failure, this government seems very confident on the 2021 season…

    How can they state that this year will be better than last year, as in 2020 there were no limitation to enter the country from EU countries (no test required)? Let’s be realistic, the number of vaccinated people will be limited, thus most of the visitors will still need a test to enter the country, and possibly before they leave Greece as their home country may require the same. It’s a cost, and many will choose to stay in their country or choose a country where a test is not mandatory…

    Though, I wish I’m wrong…

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