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Greeks Want Tourism but only if Certain Conditions Are Met

Αssociated Press

A guard, wearing a mask to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, stands at Thissio urban railway station in Athens, Thursday, May 7, 2020. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

ATHENS - About half of Greeks are wary of incoming tourism and the opening of borders to all tourists, according to new research from the Marlab Laboratory at the University of Macedonia.

As it turns out, 49.4 pct of respondents disagreed with the opening of borders to all tourists and prefer, initially, to only accept tourists from countries with low rates of confirmed Covid-19 cases (31.9 pct), to implement strict controls at the country's airports and borders (93.7 pct) and require that tourists entering the country have a special Covid-19 certificate (74.2 pct).

This is the third part of a nationwide survey conducted by the research team at the MARLAB Marketing Laboratory of the University of Macedonia. The data was collected between April 23 and April 28, while the sample consisted of 1,073 people.

According to the research team, the survey examined - among other things - how Greece, after the international promotion it received due to its good management of the Covid-19 pandemic, could take advantage of its positive image and maintain some of the tourist inflows but without risking an extensive spread of the virus in the country. The issue was to determine the appropriate policies so that Greece does not lose all tourists from abroad while at the same time promoting domestic tourism, encouraging more Greeks to take vacations.

Regarding the internal management of issues related to tourism, the vast majority of Greeks (96.6 pct) believed that hotels should now follow strict hygiene rules, while 74.8 pct believed that the use of a face mask should be imposed on all public transport (aircraft, ships, trains and buses).

In terms of incoming tourism, only 14.5 pct of respondents agreed to some extent that Greece should open its borders to all foreign tourists in the summer. In contrast, the biggest group of respondents (49.4 pct) strongly or largely disagreed with this perspective, while 36.2 pct said that they were unsure. They were more positive, however, to the arrival of tourists from countries with few confirmed Covid-19 cases, with 31.9 pct agreeing with this policy and 30.7 pct disagreeing to some extent, while 37.4 pct said they were undecided.

An overwhelming majority of survey participants (93.7%), agreed that strict controls be in place at airports and borders.

Respectively, it is interesting that the vast majority of respondents (74.2 pct) agreed with the view that foreign tourists should enter Greece with a special certificate for Covid-19.

According to the survey, a third of participants believe that due to reduced tourism in the country, the quality of services will be better than last year (29.3 pct) while the majority (53.9 pct) are not sure.

Finally, participants were asked whether they agree with the suspension of summer holiday leave for employees, with 49 pct disagreeing with the view that businesses need to suspend workers' summer leave for the economy to reopen, with only 18.5 pct supporting this view.