Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and SETE President Yiannis Retsos on Wednesday agreed that Greek tourism may see signs of improvement in the second half of this year, as long as there are no unexpected developments on the Covid-19 pandemic front and if vaccinations rates pick up in the country.
Speaking during the 29th General Assembly of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) in Athens, Retsos said that Greek tourism is up against a difficult year, considering that key markets such as the UK, Russia and Scandinavia have not yet opened.
“This fact increases the uncertainty and makes it difficult for us to make any predictions for the coming months,” he said, adding that the 2021 season will depend on the course of the pandemic, new Covid-19 strains and vaccinations pick up speed.
However, SETE’s president appeared confident and highlighted that that if at least the pandemic makes no unexpected change in the next period, the second half of the year could be much better than expected at the moment.
“The data at the moment, as well as the state of our key markets, make the goal of achieving 50 percent of 2019 revenue extremely difficult, but we are certain that – if there are no health burdens – the country’s strong brand, combined with the way we have managed the pandemic to this day and with the value of our tourism product, can lead to an unexpectedly good second half,” he said.
The possibility of Greek tourism seeing better days in the second half of the year was echoed by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Greek PM: Covid-19 vaccinations will play a major role
Underlining that Greece this year has extra “ammunition” in the fight against Covid-19, referring to the vaccines, self-tests to detect asymptomatic cases and updated health protocols, Mitsotakis said that Greece this year is much more prepared than it was last year.
“So we have reason to be moderately optimistic and I believe that the second half may pleasantly surprise us,” he said, adding that some markets – such as the United States – are showing good progress.
He highlighted, however, that vaccinations will play a major role in the performance of Greek tourism.
“A decisive factor in what will happen in the second half will be the course of vaccinations in our country, throughout Europe and everywhere in the world, especially in the large markets that we target,” he said.