Video conference of the MPs of the Ionian Sea, the Regional Governor of the Ionian Islands and the Political Leadership of the Ministry of Tourism

PRESS RELEASE

A scheduled teleconference was held today between the Ionian Islands MPs of New Democracy, Dionysis Aktypi (Zakynthos), Stefanos Gikas (Corfu), Athanasios Kavvadas (Lefkada) and Panagi Kapourichouris Kapsarimou Kapodarchos of Kefalonia), of the Region of the Deputy Minister of Tourism Manos Konsolas.

The main topic of the teleconference was the apparent great impact of the coroner’s pandemic on Tourism and the local economies of the Ionian Islands, but also the perspective of our country’s tourism sector the next day.

The MPs and the Regional Governor expressed their intense concern and concern for the next day of the pandemic, as 75% of the economy of the Ionian Islands is based on Tourism. The agenda of the debate and the proposals of the Members of Parliament compose the issues that are of great concern to the entrepreneurs who deal with the wider sector of Tourism, the employees and all the related professions.

Specifically, the four MPs with a joint memorandum raised issues related to the following categories: competitiveness and taxation, banking system and business access to working capital, facilitation of obligations to the State, DEKO and OTA, competitiveness and international environment, creating an internal tourism program and Adjusting targeting to more suitable markets, work arrangements, arrangements for tourism workers, better utilization of the NSRF, arrangements for the businesses that had transactions with Thomas Cook, arrangements for lease, arrangements for the modernization of the institutional framework, settings related occupations with tourism.

The Regional Governor, after emphasizing that there is uncertainty about the conditions that will prevail on the world tourist map after the pandemic, pointed out the need to utilize all the financial tools that are available, e.g. NSRF and the need to cooperate with all tourism agencies both at the Regional and State level. He also referred to the special features of the Ionian Islands and how they should be projected.

During his statement, the Minister of Tourism explained that the extent of the impact of the coronavirus crisis on tourism has not yet been clarified. However, according to estimates, compared to 2019, the reduction will be large.

In addition, he made it clear that at the moment it is not possible to estimate when the tourist season will begin. Its launch depends on the course of the pandemic, but also on the epidemiological studies of experts, who will decide when travel and other tourism activities will be able to restart.

At the same time, EU initiatives will be needed to develop a unified policy on the protection measures in force. Asymmetrical relaxation or maintaining austerity will not help the tourism development of any country.

Mr. Theocharis stressed that the next day of Tourism has completely new features and new requirements, which must be considered and prepared with special care. For example, the tourist areas should have enhanced Health Structures, so that there is health security for both visitors and permanent residents. At the same time, it is possible that an adjustment will be needed in targeting the markets that our tourism campaign will focus on.

The Ministry of Tourism is examining and will intensify actions such as e.g. Greece from Home, which aim to strengthen the Greek brand name so that there is a faster recovery. The promotion and expansion of domestic tourism is also being considered. The Minister emphasized the effort of the Greek Government to show that Greece is a safe country, which it has achieved, as the data on the course of the epidemic in our country are encouraging.

During the discussion, it was further clarified that there is currently great uncertainty about the start of this year’s tourist season. From the side of the Ministry of Tourism, it was emphasized that based on the data, not all tourism businesses will open this year. However, those that will be opened must be supported by measures such as the reduction of insurance contributions and tax liabilities.

The “pie” of world tourism in 2020 will be much smaller, however, according to Mr. Theocharis, the Government’s goal is for Greece to claim the largest possible share. For this reason, after scientists and epidemiological studies “give the green light”, the Ministry of Tourism and EOT will present a strong tourism campaign, which is estimated to last two to three months.

Finally, the Minister conveyed to the four Members of Parliament and the Governor the will of the Government for further strengthening of businesses and employees in the Greek tourism industry, which was also confirmed by the Prime Minister during his recent teleconference with representatives of his organizations.

For his part, the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Mr. Konsolas, noted that many proposals of the Members of Parliament are the responsibility of other Ministries. However, he said that after the colonial crisis, strong tools of the economy will be the new Development Law, with particular emphasis on Tourism and the island economies, as well as investment opportunities for businesses in the primary and secondary sectors. In addition, as already announced by the Government, there will be increased and much more flexible utilization of NSRF funds.

The political leadership of the Ministry of Tourism, the Regional Governor and the MPs of Zakynthos, Corfu, Kefallinia and Lefkada of New Democracy pledged to continue their cooperation to mitigate the effects of the coronation pandemic, as it is an issue that directly or indirectly concerns all the inhabitants of the Ionian Islands and the local economies.

 

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