Maintaining a healthy balance of safety and economic activity are key to ensuring a smooth tourism season for Greece, said National Public Health Organization (EODY) President Panagiotis Arkoumaneas and Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (XEE) President Alexandros Vassilikos this week.
Arkoumaneas and Vassilikos met on Crete ahead of Greece’s official opening to tourists this weekend to discuss safety measures, vaccination rollouts, and tourism sector developments.
“It’s of vital importance to balance public health and economic activity,” said Vassilikos, underlining the importance of a tourism restart for local communities, their economies, and the national economy.
Arkoumaneas referred to the improved public health conditions, the new “tools” against Covid-19 – rapid tests and vaccines – and stressed the importance of personal responsibility and cooperation, encouraging everyone to get vaccinated.
He went on to acknowledge the need to reopen to tourists and to restart economic activities but underlined that it must all be done with safety in mind because “the pandemic is not over yet”.
“There should be no complacency, no relaxation of measures,” he said.
The president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Alexandros Vassilikos, expressed his optimism that the upcoming tourist season will be better compared to last year.
He referred to the progress Greece made in 2020 despite the challenges with the implementation of strict health protocols at hotels, for which he said the country has be awarded and rewarded, and added that “this year we will be able to capitalize on the seriousness we demonstrated last year”.
Vassilikos said looking ahead at this particular point in time was “not easy”, adding however that he expects the EU Covid-19 vaccination certificate, which goes into effect next month, will “unlock the possibility for travel”.