‘Tourism will rebound but it’s unknown when’, Says Greek hotels chief
While Greece is getting ready to open to tourism this year it remains to be seen when when travel will actually rebound from the impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19).
“There will be a strong rebound, but no one can know ‘when’ because there is no previous experience that involves a health crisis of this magnitude,” he said, while adding that no forecast can be made at the moment for Greek tourism this year.
“As long as the health situation is not in a state of normality, there is no reason to try to make forecasts, because the conditions under which we will operate this year will be similar to last year… Right now we do not have booked slots from airlines, there are no pre bookings and mainly we do not have early reservations based on advance payment and guarantee contracts, so the season remains uncertain.”
Health experts ‘call the shots’, Health is the priority
Vassilikos highlighted that the health of citizens and guests is the main priority and that once again infectious disease specialists will have the first word.
“I do believe that the situation (in tourism) will be better than last year… There is indeed a different scenario with more tools in terms of dealing with the health crisis,” he said, referring to the green health certificate for travel that is under development and the high availability of Covid-19 rapid tests.
The chamber’s president stressed that it is of utmost importance to focus on the following three questions:
– how will we travel this year?
– how will the conditions in and out of Greece evolve that will facilitate travel this year?
– how will the markets open to travelers this year?
“The infectious disease specialists have the last word and the most important thing is the protection of the sector’s workers, local communities and visitors,” Vassilikos underlined.
Moreover, he said that proposals submitted by the hospitality sector for the restart of tourism also include the vaccination of employees as a priority.
“Last year, the hospitality sector showed an excellent stance and this must be the case again,” Vassilikos concluded.