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Greek Hoteliers Hope Covid-19 Vaccines, Tests will Support Tourism Season

Greek hoteliers expressed signs of optimism that the country’s tourism industry will improve its performance this year compared to 2020, mainly due to the progress of Greece’s vaccination program, the ongoing Covid-19 testing procedures, and the updated health protocols to be announced in the coming days.

Greece will officially open its gates to tourists on May 14. The tourism ministry’s road map for the opening of Greek tourism this year includes travelers entering only with a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test result. Random Covid-19 tests will also be conducted at Greece’s entrance points through the EVA system.

Meanwhile, the government has announced that it would be putting the vaccination of tourism workers as a priority.

“Our aim is for Greek tourism to open in time with safety… The Covid-19 vaccines, the PCR tests and the health protocols will support our efforts to safeguard the health of guests, staff and communities,” Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) Secretary-General Dimitris Fragakis said on Thursday, during the online award ceremony of the Greek Hotel of the Year awards.

“My personal opinion is that there should be a program of vaccinations for tourism professionals and employees from June onwards – after the vaccination of vulnerable people,” he stressed.

Optimism for summer 2021

Meanwhile, Greek hoteliers are optimistic that Greece will receive more international travelers this summer compared to 2020.

According to Panos Almyrantis, general manager of Daios Cove Luxury Resort & Villas, Greece should expect its 2021 tourism performance to improve by 15 percent compared to 2020.

Referring to Greece’s main source tourism markets, Almyrantis expects UK travelers to resume travel to Greece from June onwards.

He also revealed that the German market presents a 5 present increase in bookings for the 2021 summer season.

Almyrantis also spoke about the positive expectations from the Russian market, following Russia’s recent decision to suspend most air travel with Turkey after the rise of coronavirus infections there.

It is reminded that Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis is on an official visit to Moscow this week to attend a series of meetings with Russian tourism sector representatives as part of efforts to lay the groundwork for Greece to welcome back tourists from target markets for the 2021 season.

Panos Almyrantis is also vice president of the European Hotel Managers Association and president of the judging committee of the 2021 Greek Hotel of the Year awards.

The awards

Organized annually by Boussias Communications, the Greek Hotel of the Year Awards honors many different types of accommodation facilities for the prime hospitality experiences they offer guests. The judging committee comprises of hotel development and operations executives, architects, designers and journalists.

This year, the Lifetime Achievement Award was offered to Georgios Matsigkos, general manager of Atrium Hotels; the Hotel Manager of the Year award was given to George Spyropoulos chief operating officer of Electra Hotels & Resorts, while the Spa Manager of the Year award was received by Elli Soumaki, spa manager of Six Senses Spa – Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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