It will take at least two to three years for Greece’s tourist industry to recover from the crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, sector managers believe. Business trips and conventions will take even longer.
This is true of tourist destinations worldwide, the 59 managers, mostly Greek, in the hospitality, travel and related sectors said in a survey conducted by market research and opinion polling agency Metron Analysis for hospitality company DHR Services.
This is a serious issue for a country in which tourism accounts for over 20 percent of its economy. But, the respondents believe, the country has what it takes to rebound faster than others, provided that investment in new hotels, resorts and infrastructure, as well as new models of sales and operations, continue.
Most respondents to the survey agree that travel and spending in tourism sectors will remain this year significantly smaller than in 2019, with cities facing the biggest problems: only 5% believe demand will recover to pre-pandemic levels within sixth months. And, even under this most optimistic scenario, this year’s tourist season, which government officials insist will start on May 14, is as good as lost.
Another 21% believe that demand for Greek destinations will recover to 2019 levels next year, 51% in two years and 21% in three years, while just 2% believe it will take more than three years.
Asked what factors will facilitate recovery, respondents referred to more flexible cancellation policies – which have already been introduced since 2020 – attractive payment terms and better hotel hygiene and safety.
Greece remains an attractive destination for investments, especially in higher-end hospitality services. There is also a strong trend of hotels joining global chains, something which ensures their future.