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Greece concerned about impact of coronavirus on economy & tourism

Greece is highly concerned about the impact of coronavirus on economy and the tourism industry, especially now that the country has started to improve its fiscal figures and progress.

The international and Greek tourist industry are sailing in uncharted waters after the outbreak of COVID19 and the biggest crash test for Greek tourism in 2020 will be the period of the Easter holidays, the head of the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers Grigoris Tassios told state-run news agency amna on Thursday.

He said that there had been no cancellations for Greek tourism destinations to date, aside from those in Santorini and Athens due to the suspension of Air China flights from Beijing to the Greek capital.

Tassios spoke of a “hazy landscape” and expressed hope that the spread of the virus in Europe will not reach the point where it affects the decisions of prospective tourists to travel abroad.

“If people stop travelling abroad, this will finish the economies of the countries, most of which rely on tourism,” he said.

Tthe Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), in an announcement on Wednesday, said that Greek tourism has the knowledge, maturity and professionalism to effectively address the situation with COVID19. In the next months, Greece is expected to welcome over 30 million visitors and this demands calmness, coordination and cooperation from all, it noted.

However, SETE and Hoteliers’ statements came before two new cases were tested positive on coronavirus on Thursday and before the Health Minister announced the cancellation of all Carnival events due to the virus spread.

Short after, the first hotel cancellations were reportedly recorded in Patras, the city with the famous Carnival in Greece.

During a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that he would ask the Bank of Greece to assess the economic impact of coronavirus to Greece.

With a prompt reaction, the BoG said it is too early for such an assess.

Greece’s central bank is sticking to its economic growth projections so far as it monitors data after the country confirmed its first coronavirus infection, an official at the Bank of Greece told reuters.

“We don’t have any data that would warrant a change to our present projections for the moment,” the official said, declining to be named.

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