This summer for Greek tourism is proving tougher than initially estimated as the 15 billion euros that will be missing from this year’s travel receipts from abroad correspond to a percentage that is close to 7.5% of GDP.
Not only are arrivals and receipts dramatically reduced, but also the operating rules in place due to the pandemic are creating huge challenges for hotels, air travel, shipping and catering businesses as well as entertainment.
The climate of uncertainty is further exacerbated by the ongoing recession in foreign tourist markets, which have added to the health reasons that are preventing travel.
Speaking to Kathimerini, the president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), Yiannis Retsos, said that “since May we had said, as SETE, that this year’s tourist year would start from scratch and anything built on it could only be positive for businesses and employees. In fact, we set the bar between 20-25% of last year’s 18.5 billion euros, always under certain conditions.” However, he bemoaned that, “unfortunately, the evolution of the pandemic internationally forces us today to place the revenue estimate below 20%, between €3-3.5 billion.”
Retsos said there will be two huge challenges in the coming months: “Supporting the work with new measures and shaping the existing ones so that a wave of redundancies can be stopped” and “protecting the very good brand that our country has built” in recent months.