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UNWTO Athens: Greek PM Says Safe Travel, Retaining Jobs Key Priorities  

European Commission Vice President Margaritis Schinas; UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili; Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis. Photo Source: @PrimeMinisterGR

Greece’s main concern has been to ensure safe travel and that no jobs are lost during the pandemic, said Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during the opening of the 66th Meeting of the World Tourism Organization Commission for Europe (CEU) hosted in Athens this week.

Leading tourism figures, including UNWTO Secretary General Zurab Pololikashvili, ministers and secretaries of state are in the Greek capital for the two-day event. 

Mitsotakis said Greece has paved the way with initiatives that aim to facilitate safe travel, including the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate, an idea which he tabled in January. The country is now ready to welcome the summer with its primary weapon in the fight against Covid-19: its vaccination plan, he said.

“The object of our meeting here today is to ensure that we start traveling again safely. Safety is our primary concern and we were indeed at the forefront of a series of innovations that allowed us during the pandemic to ensure that we use all available tools to make travel as safe as possible,” he said. 

Zurab Pololikashvili and Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Photo source: @UNWTO

Other government goals include extending the tourism season and attracting digital nomads to Greece.

The Greek PM went on to stress that safeguarding all jobs in tourism also topped the government agenda during the unprecedented global health crisis. 

“Our main concern was to ensure that when tourism reopens, no jobs will be lost. I believe that we have managed to achieve this goal through a series of targeted measures to support tourism,” he said two days after announcing a 420-million-euro support plan for tourism enterprises impacted by the pandemic.

Looking ahead, Mitsotakis said he expects tourism and leisure travel to recover “relatively soon”.

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