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Greece’s Tourism Ministry reveals plan for tourism season 2020

Greece has presented a 5-pillar plan to support the tourism sector that has been strongly hit by the pandemic. Speaking at the Parliament on Monday, Tourism Minister, Haris Theoharis, presented the key points of the plan saying that the government will make use of all opportunities to support tourism, but in compliance with health rules.”

The plan to support this year’s tourism season takes into account the difficulties that have arisen since the spread of corona worldwide.

The main targets of the government plant refer to health protocols to ensure the health of visitors and locals, financial support to tourism workers and businesses as well as intensified contacts to other countries and tour operators

Health

Protocols are being drawn up for hotels, marinas, yachting, tourist coaches, airplanes, etc. These are realistic, the minister said, adding that the conditions will be such that the neither the health of local residents and visitors nor the reputation of destinations will be endangered.

On May 8, the working groups of the Ministry of Tourism with EODY will be ready with all the health protocols so that the consultation with the social partners can proceed.

“Our goal is for Greece to be among the first countries to finalize protocols,” the minister said.

Fincance

Finance: Specific and cost-effective packages will be prepared this week, in cooperation with the Finance, Development and Labour ministries. Employees who are not absorbed will be supported.

“We have to recognize the economic reality. The demand will not be enough to be able to absorb all the workers. The numbers will not be positive but they are not positive for any country,” said the minister and underlined that the employees who will not be absorbed, will be supported by the government.

“The companies that will open and will be present at this difficult time, supporting the tourism product, will be supported by the government,” the minister said.

He stressed also that “the competitiveness of the Greek tourism product will be supported.”

Diplomacy

Diplomatic moves will be needed to secure support from other countries, since Greece will be ready to receive tourists. “However, if the German, the Russian or the US government place those returning from Greece in quarantine/house isolation, then no tourists will come,” Theoharis said.

He added that working groups are already working with specific countries to open the borders as soon as possible.

“However, we cannot force anyone to do so. We will seek the maximum possible result,” the minister said adding “measures will be taken to support domestic tourism.”

Promotion

Promoting Greece through a campaign that will be ready in the coming weeks.

International contacts

Strengthening contacts with tour operators and international media in order to keep Greece in first contact with potential visitors..

Greece plans to open all-year hotels on June 1 and the remaining tourists’ accommodation facilities a month later.

The government appears certain that the tourism seasons in summer 2020 will be able to run in the months of July, August and September, and hopes to extend it to October and November.

However, this presupposes that international flights and ferries will resume in time.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told CNN International on Monday said that “the best-case scenario is Greece opening for tourism as of July 1, even though the exact date also depends on airlines and the implementation of strict health protocols in foreign flights.”

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