ATHENS – The international and Greek tourist industry are sailing in uncharted waters after the outbreak of COVID19 and the biggest crash test for Greek tourism in 2020 will be the period of the Easter holidays, the head of the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers Grigoris Tassios said to Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) on Thursday.
He said that there had been no cancellations for Greek tourism destinations to date, aside from those in Santorini and Athens due to the suspension of Air China flights from Beijing to the Greek capital.
Tassios spoke of a “hazy landscape” and expressed hope that the spread of the virus in Europe will not reach the point where it affects the decisions of prospective tourists to travel abroad. “If people stop travelling abroad, this will finish the economies of the countries, most of which rely on tourism,” he said.
“Something like this is not apparent at the moment, but if it does happen during the current period there are margins for recovery and correction. If, however, (the spread of the virus) peaks in April, then there will be a serious problem,” he noted.
For the time being, the prevailing message in the Greek tourist sector is one of calmness and coolheadedness, at the same time as the tourism ministry is on alert and cooperating closely with health services and organisations for the coordination of their action.
In this context the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), in an announcement on Wednesday, said that Greek tourism has the knowledge, maturity and professionalism to effectively address the situation with COVID19.
In the next months, Greece is expected to welcome over 30 million visitors and this demands calmness, coordination and cooperation from all, it noted.
“SETE is in constant communication with its members, the authorities and state agencies in order to ensure an assessment of the situation, prompt information and compliance with the prevention measures that need to be taken,” the announcement said.