Friday, April 16, 2021

Greek Tourism Industry Lost 75% Of Its Revenue In 2020 - Tourism Minister - UrduPoint

The COVID-19 pandemic hit many countries and industries around the world hard in 2020, including Greece's tourism industry, which suffered a 75% drop in revenue compared to a normal year, Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis told Sputnik.

At the moment, all foreigners arriving in Greece have to test negative for COVID-19 and quarantine for seven days. The country plans to gradually lift quarantine restrictions for travelers from some nations at the beginning of the next week and then reopen its borders to tourists from around the world on May 14.

"In 2020 we had only 25% of the revenue," Theoharis said, noting that hotels in the country operated at a loss, or simply did not open at all. To alleviate the situation, the Greek government took steps to help hotels and others working in the country's tourism sector.

The government also helped protect employees from layoffs, supported self-employed tour guides, and encouraged hotels to offer vouchers that they can give tourists who have to take paid COVID-19 tests in order to travel to the country.

"We have supported employees, forcing the enterprises not to fire them. We have supported the self-employed that work around the tourism industry, such as tour guides, with specific stipends and money that we have supplied. We have supported tour operators, travel agents and bus operators because they had to endure limited capacity because of the pandemic. And finally, we supported, with a number of measures, the hotels," Theoharis said.

Such measures, he explained, have helped keep Greece prepared for reopening. The minister expects 2021 tourism numbers to be on-par with those from pre-pandemic 2019.

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