Greece events and conferences organizers are calling on the government to announce health protocols that will allow MICE tourism to restart operations in the aftermath of Covid-19 and ahead of the country’s official opening to tourism on May 15.
The Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers (HAPCO) said in a statement this week that it was still waiting on a series of recommendations it tabled to the tourism ministry in March.
According to HAPCO data on the impact of Covid on the industry, 80 percent of in-person events and conferences were cancelled. At the same time, live events are not going to take place this year or next.
The same data reveals that 15 percent of events were held online, which translates into no revenue for the state, and 5 percent of all events were deferred to 2022, 2023 or later.
In view of the consequences on Greece’s MICE tourism, HAPCO is calling on the ministry to draw up a long-term strategy based on protocols (to remain in effect for at least a year) and procedures in collaboration with all parties involved as well as an upgrade in relevant conference and event infrastructure.
HAPCO is also requesting a reduction in VAT for 2021 for all related services, free self-tests – one per week for participants (Greeks or foreigners) regardless of vaccination status, clear and simple guidelines, as well as targeted marketing and promotional actions.
“The key concern for all tourism professionals is to preserve the country’s credibility now more than ever due to the stiff competition, while there must be immediate planning by the state for the whole of 2021 aimed at preparing the country for 2022 and the following years,” said HAPCO President Irini Toli.