The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) praised Greece this week for successfully opening up to tourists during the Covid-19 health crisis and for achieving safety through the implementation of strict protocols.
In an interview to the Athens News Agency (ANA-MPA), Communications Executive at WTTC Elena Corina Rodríguez said Greece should serve as a reference point.
“It [Greece] was one of the first countries to announce that it would receive visitors who were fully vaccinated or could show a negative PCR to pass through the country’s gates. Greece was the country that encouraged traveler flows in safety as a result of the country’s general preparation,” she said.
Rodríguez noted that Greece “stood out” this year as an international tourist destination, achieving 86 percent of 2019 levels in July and August and paving the way for a strong tourism economy recovery.
“Europe has had a good summer as a result of countries lifting travel restrictions, successful vaccination programs, and the use of the EU Digital COVID Certificate, which has allowed the safe resumption of international travel,” she said.
Referring to the COVID Certificate which she said was “a useful tool facilitating travel”, Rodríguez noted that international flights to European destinations in July and August reached 39.9 percent of pre-pandemic levels.
“This is significantly better than last year at 26.6 percent,” she said.
She went on to add that Greece is a favorite destination for European travelers and primarily for the UK and Germany.
Looking ahead, Rodríguez confirmed that there was “significant pent up demand” for travel and that everything will depend on the success of vaccination rollouts.
“Vaccination is expected to play a decisive role in tourist flows. Europe as a whole, with the availability of vaccines, is boosting the confidence of its citizens to book their holidays,” she said
The WTTC has repeatedly applauded Greece for its efforts to restart tourism during the Covid-10 pandemic. In April, it awarded Greece with the Global Champion Award for Covid-19 Crisis Management on the sidelines of its annual global summit in Cancun, Mexico.