Greece is pinning its hopes on an early May 14 opening for tourism this year, Tourism Minister Haris Theocharis said in an interview with the online magazine Politico.eu published on Tuesday, while its strategy for bringing back tourists hinges on the country’s numerous small islands.
Part of this strategy, the magazine reported, are priority coronavirus vaccinations for residents of small islands and islets “so those locations can be marketed as Covid-free” but also for practical reasons as “it would make little sense to send medical teams back and forth to administer doses to different population groups over time.”
“Fournoi, Halki, Symi, Ereikoussa and dozens of other tiny islets with fewer than 1,000 residents in the Aegean and Ionian seas have been targeted by the authorities. Kastellorizo, the country’s remotest island, located on the easternmost edge of the Dodecanese, was the first place in Greece to have its entire adult population vaccinated – all 500 of them,” the article said.
“We will have a better year than last year,” Theocharis told Reuters in a separate interview: “This is not obvious now because the bookings are depressed… there’s a lot of gloom, a lot of pessimism in the market, but I’m sure in the end my calculation is going to be correct.”