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Covid-19: Greece Benefits from Announcing Travel Opening Early

Photo source: ForwardKeys

Announcing its opening to travelers and setting out clear Covid-19 guidelines has given Greece a head start in tourism recovery, according to the latest data released by travel analytics firm ForwardKeys.

More specifically, the study’s analysts found that Greece was “best in class” this summer because it communicated its reopening early benefiting from a regular flow of travelers.

As a “first mover” on the market, Greece attracted affluent luxury travelers from Russia, the study reveals, adding that 19 percent of people visiting Greece in July and August traveled from Russia in premium classes compared to 5 percent in 2019.

The study, based on air ticketing data from CAPA – Center for Aviation, goes on to confirm that travel announcements contributed to tourism recovery and explains why performance differs from country to country.

“Withstanding where you are in the world, you are a winning destination showing resilience if you are smartly promoting sun and sea leisure destinations; remained open throughout the pandemic or wisely made announcements in advance of key tourism periods; kept your travel restrictions consistent and easy to follow, allowing travelers to plan ahead,” said Olivier Ponti, VP of Insights at ForwardKeys.

Overall, compared to 2019, Europe in July and August was down by 60 percent, the Americas by 57 percent, and the Asia-Pacific region by 93 percent.

At the same time, the top seven out of the 10 most resilient global destinations for international travel are in the Caribbean and Mexico, where compared to pre-Covid 2019, international arrivals dropped by a mere 15 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

Ponti attributes the positive performance in these two regions despite the ongoing pandemic to “1) the fact that most of these destinations have remained consistently open for business, enabling visitors to plan; 2) their proximity with the US outbound market, which has been rebounding strongly since the start of the vaccination campaign; 3) the appeal of sun and sea experiences”.

He goes on to note however that many areas are not communicating effectively and on time, including many parts of Europe, which failed to announce a single set of rules early on.

Effective communication and consistency in travel restrictions and conditions are crucial for a global restart of tourism, the study concludes, creating uneven recovery in travel and tourism from country to country, and region to region.

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