The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) has provided a podium for Greece’s key tourism figures to share their vision for the day after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I believe that we are still far away from being able to record the exact effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on tourism.
At the moment, we are observing the economic collapse of the travel agency industry, but also tourism in general, worldwide. Percentages, numbers and statistics should be of concern to us in time, when the pandemic has subsided. Otherwise we will fall into the trap of just making forecasts.
The state of the business activity of Greek travel agencies is well known.
For the first time in history we have experienced a complete shutdown of tourism activity, and it is obvious that we will have suffered enormous financial damage.
Our talks are about the “restart” of tourism. This word is of utmost importance, considering what it means exactly: Tourism stopped breathing for almost a year. The uniqueness of our profession is that with a restart, the travel agent – in order to serve his customer – will have to make the economy move within the network of travel suppliers.
It is HATTA’s principle not to complain. But in the face of this economic challenge, we are counting on the State for support. Our fellow European associations have informed us about the financial support that Europe has introduced to keep travel agencies afloat. We expect the same to happen in Greece. This is the necessary action for the current situation we are experiencing.
With regard to opportunities created by this situation, I will refer to the much easier and closer communication with our international partners and our direct access to international markets, through events and exhibitions, since virtual participation is now a given.
The pandemic forced modernization with much faster steps. It is now required for us to be more communicative.”
* This Op-Ed originally appeared in the Greek Travel Pages (GTP) annual printed edition for 2021. Press here for more information.