With British tourists making up 15 percent and more of tourists, Greece wants to keep luring them once the United Kingdom leaves the European Union and looking for ways for them to also live in the country.
Citing a Foreign Ministry official who wasn’t identified, the financial news agency Bloomberg said the UK makes up the second-largest source market for tourism for Greece, which is reportedly exploring the possibility of maintaining visa-free status for UK nationals.
At the same time, British citizens living in Greece will not be considered citizens from third countries, or non-EU countries, with Greece wanting the monies the British visitors bring and looking for incentives for them.
UK travelers generated more than 14 percent of the country’s tourism revenue in the January-November period in 2017 but it dropped in 2018 by 6.2 percent to 1.9 billion euros ($2.16 billion), while the number of British tourists fell 1.9 percent to 2.9 million, the Bank of Greece reported.
In November, the EU proposed visa-free travel for Britons after the March 29 EU departure, which would allow visa-less travel for stays up to 90 days in any 180-day period applicable as of March 30.
Research presented by ForwardKeys at the World Travel Market (WTM) in London last year, booking behavior of British holidaymakers for EU destinations, including Greece, did not appear affected, GTP Headlines saaid.
The Association of British Travel Agents’ (ABTA), reiterated the European Commission’s decision that even in a no-deal Brexit scenario, flights will continue to operate between the UK and EU with no visa requirement.