ATHENS – Adding to signs people are raring to bust out of fading lockdowns and vaccines slowly working to rein in the COVID-19 pandemic, Greece expects half the numbers of a record-busting 2019 will come and spur the economy.
Government spokeswoman Aristotelia Peloni told the site Newsbomb that, “We can expect traffic at 50 percent ,” of what it was two years earlier, with 2020 wiped out by lockdowns and a near halt on international air traffic.
That's despite the European Union, again working at its snail's pace, finally getting around to the idea recommended months earlier by Greek Prime Minister for a COVID-19 vaccination digital pass that would speed travel within the bloc.
There were only about 7 million tourists in 2020 and 4 billion euros ($4.87 billion) in 2020, compared to 33 million people who spent 18 billion euros ($21.93 billion) in 2019, a big chunk of Greece's annual Gross Domestic Product of 164.43 billion euros ($200.3 billion,) the country's biggest revenue provider.
Visitors must have proof of being vaccinated or a negative test or show that they have recovered from the Coronavirus to be admitted and avoid a quarantine that would be implemented otherwise for them.