Coronavirus Costs Greece 70% of Chinese Tourists Who Cancel Trips

February 19, 2020

ATHENS – The deadly coronavirus outbreak that began in China has seen almost 70 percent of expected Chinese visitors to Greece cancel their plans to come although Greek officials said they didn’t expect that would be costly.

Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis, speaking on state broadcaster ERT earlier, downplayed the loss of the Chinese tourists whose numbers were growing at the same time Chinese companies were looking to step up investments in Greece.

“Greece last year received 31,350,000 tourists – not counting 5.5 million cruise passengers – and of those visitors, only 200,000 were Chinese, which is a small figure,” the minister said, referring to China as a “market still opening up” to Greece.

He said the loss of the Chinese tourists “does not affect the Greek tourism product so negatively” and the goal still remains to have 500,000 Chinese tourists in 2021 as a rebound but he didn’t say whether this year’s loss would stop a record run of tourism seasons.

“What matters both for the health of our population and for the wider image of our country is to shield ourselves against this virus. The most important thing – more important than any cancellation – is that our country shows that it is safe and that the measures we are taking are capable of protecting us,” he stressed.

While the virus fears led Greece to temporarily close its visa office in China, keeping Chinese tourists from coming, he said that the cancellation of some cruise ships to Asian destinations has seen at least one, the Norwegian Cruise Line to come to the port of Piraeus.

“Another positive impact is that many European tourists that had chosen Asia as their destination will now switch to new markets,” Theoharis said, adding that Greece is seeing a rise in bookings and therefore the “picture is positive.”


ATHENS - The modernisation and upgrade of 3-star hotels are being introduced in the development law, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Tuesday in an interview with public broadcaster ERT.

Top Stories


BOSTON – The Holy Synod of the Patriarchate of Alexandria in its recent meeting dealt with the ecclesiastical coup perpetrated by the Patriarchate of Moscow in its canonical jurisdiction, calling it an “immoral invasion and intrusion.


NEW YORK - Some 21 years after it was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States that brought down the Twin Towers in New York City, the new St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church rising in its place is among the most eagerly awaited architectural openings of 2022.


STATEN ISLAND, NY – For yet another year, the community of Holy Trinity-St Nicholas in Staten Island honored couples celebrating 50+ years of marriage with a modest ceremony held at the church immediately following the Divine Liturgy on January 16.


1 NYPD Officer Killed, 1 Severely Injured in Harlem Shooting (Vid)

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City police officer was killed and another critically wounded Friday night while answering a call about an argument between a woman and her adult son, officials said, making four officers shot in the city in as many days.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.