Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has said he was cautiously optimistic that Greece would achieve its tourism revenue target this year.
“I am cautiously optimistic that the second half will be better than we have expected and that we eventually achieve the target of 50% of 2019 revenues,” Mitsotakis told the general assembly of Greece’s tourism confederation SETE on Wednesday.
To save its tourism sector from a second summer lost to the coronavirus, Greece is ready to use a Covid-19 travel certificate before its EU-wide launch on July 1 to attract foreign travelers.
But much will depend on when big tourist markets, such as Britain, ease their travel restrictions and allow people to spend their summer holiday in the country without the need to quarantine or test for Covid on their return.
Greece, which relies on tourism for a fifth of its economy, saw just seven million tourists and 4 billion euros in revenues in 2020, down from a record 33 million visitors and 18 billion euros in revenues in 2019. It expects tourist arrivals and revenues this year to reach half the levels seen in 2019.
The government is pinning its hopes on tourism and a recovery of domestic demand after many months of lockdown to pull the economy out of a 8.2 percent recession last year and achieve a 3.6 percent GDP growth this year.
Mitsotakis reiterated the 3.6 percent target but said the government might upwardly revise it when there is certainty that first half data would support this. [Reuters]