Early end for the tourist season?

The British government may have decided on Thursday to keep Greece on the list of safe countries that the British, who are the largest market for Greek tourism after the Germans, can visit for holidays, but the existence of the possibility of being excluded the country in the second year, possibly this week, brought heaps of cancellations and postponement of relevant decisions of travelers. This is natural, since no one wants to know in the middle of their vacation that when they return home they will have to be quarantined.

This case is indicative of the climate that prevails in Greek tourism and especially in the large markets from which it attracts visitors. With the British “frozen”, almost before they even started to arrive, the Americans never allowed to come and the Germans mostly staying for holidays in their country, only those French who decided to travel to support the Greek were left Buy.

The last straw

However, at the same time, the second wave of the pandemic that has begun to develop internationally, as well as the impending start of the school year in the major markets of Greek tourism close this season and in a glorious way. Unfortunate, because the very good performance of Greece in the first wave of the pandemic had created expectations for a relatively good season and even with its extension in September and maybe in October. But any extension of the season would obviously only apply to older people, who do not have children in schools, but who are among the most vulnerable groups in the pandemic. And somehow Athens is expected to remain empty of tourism city break, which in recent years has grown rapidly filling the urban fabric of Attica with new hotels.

So where are we today? According to industry sources and government estimates, travel receipts from abroad for the whole of 2020 are not expected to exceed 3 billion compared to 18.2 billion in 2019. The lack of this 15 billion combined with the multiplier benefits to the economy, is the main route through which the pandemic hits the Greek GDP. Already in the first half of 2020, which is seasonally the weakest, receipts from abroad fell from 5.4 billion last year to just 678 million.

They close early

A significant number of the approximately 5,000 hotels (out of a total of 10,000) that have chosen to operate under unprecedented circumstances have begun to close or are considering closing. Some have already closed and more and more hoteliers are announcing that they will lower the shutters at the end of August. In addition, Finland and Norway have already quarantined those returning from Greece, and other countries are expected to follow. Thus, the markets for Greek tourism began to close.

This is easy to see considering that a survey conducted by research firm YouGov on July 13-23 shows that at least half of German, British and French travelers – three of the five most important markets for Greek tourism – would prefer to cancel their vacations from being quarantined on their way back, or even from taking a test on arrival or wearing a mask outdoors, as is now required in many Greek destinations.

The survey showed that two-thirds of Germans who usually travel abroad will cancel a holiday if they need to take a test on arrival. In France, half of those who go on holiday abroad said they would cancel if they had to take a test. The same percentage would postpone his vacation if he had to wear a mask outdoors, as in recent days it has begun to be recommended in some large Greek seasonal hotels. As a result of all this, the closure of hotels is now becoming a one-way street for many of them.

SETE asks for new support

In this environment, the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) in a letter to the government requests the amendment or the adoption of new measures to support businesses and employees in the sector, as at the end of September many support measures expire. In fact, SETE estimates that the crisis will last the entire first quarter of 2021 and thus propose the implementation until March 31, 2021 of the program of subsidies of insurance contributions, extension of the program “Co-Work”, freezing of installments of regulations to insurance funds until April, extension of the measure of suspension of employment contracts for October and November, coverage by the State of the obligation to pay holiday and holiday allowances for staff who did not work much of the time.

source – kathimerini.gr

3 thoughts on “Early end for the tourist season?

  • August 24, 2020 at 12:37 pm

    We are coming out to Kefalonia this Saturday for 2 weeks so dont close up yet!

  • August 25, 2020 at 11:49 am

    We are coming out to Corfu on 4th September for a week. Looking forward to it !*

  • August 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm

    Please keep visiting Kefalonia, it is so safe. Everyone abides by the face mask rules inside, and all staff serving you where masks. Everywhere is even more idyllic than normal as there are less people. We just returned, having spent 3 glorious weeks in Sami region, it felt more like May. Airplanes renew the air circulating approximately every 4 minutes. Just book! And have a fabulous time. Martyn & Jackie


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