The president of the Association of Greek Tourist Enterprises, Giannis Retsos, estimates that there should be an extension of the measures to support employees in tourism, as he does not expect all seasonal hotels to operate this year.
He also stressed that the effort to restart tourism will begin in the middle of the third quarter and will gain some momentum no earlier than September. In this environment, not all seasonal hotels are expected to operate this year, which is why he believes that there should be an extension of employee support measures, while he estimated that funding in working capital of 1.5 to 2 billion euros will be required. In addition, in order for this effort to be successful, the competitiveness of Greek tourism must be ensured and strengthened, which it has linked to the existence of the necessary tools such as reducing VAT rates throughout the industry (hotels, air travel, coastal shipping). etc.), the abolition of the overnight fee and targeted promotional activities such as the one that is already underway, Greece From Home. In any case, it states that it is unable to estimate what percentage of the 18 billion travel receipts of 2019 can be repeated this year. It was enough to point out that “in the first two months we had revenues of 1.7 billion and the distance up to 18 billion is great”.
But how will the health of both the destination and the visitors be ensured? Answering this question of “K”, the president of SETE explained that an advanced discussion is underway on the possibility of mass tests, most likely at the departure airports. He added that once the government has completed the talks with the scientists, it will be clear what will be needed on the issue of any “health certificate”, both for the destination and for the visitor. Constantly reminding that things remain fluid and a possible recurrence of the epidemic could overturn the relevant plans, he set as a precondition for the sustainable and successful restart of the industry and the economy in general, the existence of a coordinated pan-European effort.
Characteristic, however, of the uncertainty that still exists is perhaps the report of the president of SETE in the markets of incoming tourism. Regarding the part of Northern Europe, he says that “there is an issue with the way they have chosen to deal with the pandemic. With the exception of Germany, the performance of the pandemic is not satisfactory. Sweden has chosen the immunity of the herd. The Scandinavians will be in the category of markets that I don’t know if we will be willing to accept them. “
Referring to the issue of over-indebted tourism businesses, he said: “It is not an opportunity to bid for populism and easy solutions and thus bring down with this crisis what we have built in recent years. Not in populism, not in old practices, financing the economy and strengthening businesses that can take the economy to the next day, “he said. He also stressed as extremely positive the regulation that is expected to be passed by the Parliament for the 18-month voucher against advances that have been paid instead of refunds, as they can partially protect any existing liquidity in the sector.
In any case, the new travel framework will be crucial. In a study, Deutsche Bank notes that companies in the tourism sector and local authorities can already take steps to help tourists travel with acceptable risks. One is the cancellation of mass events. “A concert with an audience of thousands of people carries higher risks than a family going hiking or cycling.” In addition, tourist facilities can ensure that they have adequate antiseptic and disinfection products and try to ensure a sufficient distance between their visitors. Restricting access to some tourist attractions would help reduce gatherings. The application of a maximum number of visitors based on squares, it can also be useful, says Deutsche Bank. “Such preparations will certainly increase the willingness of holidaymakers to visit areas currently affected by the virus. At the same time, tourists may be required to present special medical certificates to confirm that they do not increase the risk of a new pandemic wave. Of course, this will require that tests be performed, “he said.
source – kathimerini.gr