ATHENS — Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has forecast a strong rebound in tourism this summer, saying speedy vaccination drives in key markets including Britain and Israel will pave the way for tourists to return despite the current industry gloom, according to Reuters newsagency.
Tourism, which accounts for about 20 pct of the Greek economy and employs one in five workers, collapsed last year as the coronavirus pandemic sent its revenues slumping to 4 billion euros from 18 billion in 2019, Reuters said and added:
Since last summer, when the pandemic subsided across Europe, the virus has surged, triggering renewed lockdowns and travel restrictions and pushing the region's death toll above 750,000.
"I am a realist but I am also cautiously optimistic that we will do much better than last year," Mitsotakis told Reuters.
The prime minister also defended a decision to coordinate EU member states’ vaccine purchases through the European Commission, saying the bloc’s smaller countries would have faced serious problems negotiating deals on their own.