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Editorial

Are We Going on Vacation this Year?

Here is another victory, in the dark atmosphere caused by the shadow of the coronavirus: finally, we are at the point where we can seriously talk about the inevitable topic of vacations now that the temperature in New York reached 80 degrees for the first time.

So, what are we going to do? Are we going on vacation to Greece and Cyprus this year, or not?

The answer, in my opinion, is that yes, we will go. Even if for a shorter period of time than other years.

Those who have health problems and feel insecure about getting on a plane will not go. Those afraid that something will happen to them when they are in Greece will stay in their respective homes.

Note that a lot depends on weighing our decision about whether or not we will go on vacation to Greece this year.

The area has already been hit by an economic earthquake. The damage to airlines, hotels, restaurants, taxis, and everything related to tourism is enormous.

However, the partial, at least, salvation of the Greek economy, but also of New York’s, will depend on tourism.

Even if Greece opens its doors on July 1 – according to the statement of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis – when international travel is expected to resume – valuable time will have been lost for the tourism industry.

Nevertheless, it seems that the year will not be a total loss, as we feared a while ago.

Most likely, unfortunately, it is too late to save many hotels, a high percentage of which are in debt.

However, by comparison, Greece is in a much better position than other countries, i.e. Turkey, Spain and Italy thanks to the positive image it has created due to its successful handling of the coronavirus crisis.

But the "salvation" of tourist traffic this year, more than ever, will be largely based on expatriate and Diaspora Greeks – the ones I call Greece’s "natural tourists.” It will be on us – the ones who are…. obsessed with the homeland. 

The others are likely to stay at home.

However, as fatigue from our isolation increases, as the weather warms up and more people take to the streets, the more people will start making vacation plans.

The streets of New York – I don't mean Manhattan – are already starting to show movement. The scene is different from the desolation that prevailed at the beginning of the crisis.

The same will happen with tourism. As soon as the airlines announce the resumption of their flights – which I hope they will announce soon – we will all run to find a spot.

Of course, things will not be the same. The changes will be many and great.

At the airport, on the plane, in the hotel, the city, or the village.

But again, we will accept the changes, and more or less we will get used to them – in time – as was the case after 9/11.

So, let's get ready to visit the country that attracts us like a magnet – and try to invite some non-Greek friends and show them our homes and homeland.

And now, we will have a new topic of discussion when we visit our friends and families: the coronavirus.

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