In her statements to ΑΠΕ – ΜΠΕ, Elena S. Rodriguez, communication manager of the World Travel & Tourism Council pointed out that our country created the conditions, which allowed the safe movement of travelers, while her stop could be for other countries as a point of reference in their efforts to boost their economies affected by the pandemic.
Evaluating the performance of Greece this summer, Elena S. Rodriguez, after noting that “clearly” and stood out in the international tourist firm, explained that she achieved 86% of arrivals in July and August 2019, leading to a strong recovery of the tourism economy. “It 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 the influx of travelers safely, as a result of the general preparation of the country “, he added.
Elena S. Rodriguez reminded that Greece is one of the most popular destinations for European travelers with Germany and the United Kingdom being its most important markets. Indicatively, it states that in 2019, the Travel and Tourism sector contributed by 20.8% to the total GDP of the country and supported more than one fifth of all jobs, which shows how important the tourism sector is for the country’s economy. as he said.
Regarding the World Travel & Tourism Council estimates for the next period, Elena S. Rodriguez notes that there is “such a huge accumulated demand” that travel is expected to continue to increase in the future. Focusing on the data created by the pandemic on the world tourism map, he said that this year there has been an increase in bookings since travel restrictions have eased in some markets. “Europe has had a good summer, as a result of the lifting of travel restrictions between countries, successful vaccination programs and the use of the European digital COVID Certificate, which has allowed the safe resumption of international travel,” said Elena S. Rodriguez.
At this point, it was stressed that for the next tourist season the evolution of vaccinations is expected to play again a decisive role in tourist flows. “Europe as a whole, with the availability of vaccines in full swing, boosts the confidence of its citizens to end their holidays.” In fact, Elena S. Rodriguez stressed that the European digital COVID Certificate is a useful tool to facilitate travel. During the summer, he said, international flights to European destinations in July and August reached 39.9% of pre-pandemic levels. “This is significantly better than last year (which was 26.6%), when the COVID-19 pandemic caused extensive blockades and the vaccines had not yet been approved,” he said.
It is recalled that the World Travel & Tourism Council has highlighted Greece as a global example of safe opening of tourism, last year. In fact, the “Global Champion Award for COVID-19 Crisis Management” was received by former Minister of Tourism Haris Theocharis, at a special event in Cancun, Mexico.