- Greece is taking a lead in reopening its travel and tourism industry targeting vaccinated visitors
- WTTC is applauding Greeks plan saying it’s in exact alliance with WTTC’s guidelines
- WTN is also applauding Greeks plan, but wants to have a sliding scheme in place that can quickly react to any unforeseen situation.
Many in the travel industry call a good plan and a way forward, others say it’s still risky. Greeks COVID-19 cases are in an upswing with 2629 new cases and 43 deaths just today, March 10, 2021
Gloria Guevara, President & CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) praises the decision of the Greek Tourist Minister Harry Theocharis when he announced that Greece will welcome visitors this summer who have been vaccinated, who have antibodies, or who have tested negative for coronavirus. The plan is for Greece to reopen as of mid-May, which is just over a couple of months away.
WTTC’s members are the largest travel industry companies in the world.
The World Tourism Network asked its members in Greece and everyone who responded also applauded the approach by the Greek government. Members of the World Tourism Network are mostly medium and small size businesses and the public sector in 126 countries.
“This clear roadmap to recovery could reopen the door to a bumper summer of travel for sun-starved holidaymakers looking to get away to Greece and provide a significant boost to the country’s economy.”, Guevara said.
“It also lays out the pathway which other countries could follow, in a bid to kickstart safe travel and help revive their own stricken economies.
“The Greek government’s strategy and measures revealed are broadly in line with WTTC advice and we are pleased it will soon be welcoming travellers with proof of vaccination, a negative test or a positive antibody test, with only positive cases required to quarantine.
“These entry requirements along with random rapid tests on arrival, enhanced health and hygiene measures and mandatory mask wearing throughout the travel journey and in public spaces will provide the reassurance consumers need to book their trips.
“Greece is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for travellers and as such, relies heavily upon international travel, with Germany and the UK as its most important source markets.
“In 2019, its Travel & Tourism sector contributed 20.8% to the nation’s overall GDP (€39.1BN) and supported more than one-fifth of all jobs – which shows just how important Travel & Tourism will be to powering its economy.
Gloria Guevara said: “We strongly believe the Greek roadmap shows the practical way forward for other countries to encourage the return of safe travels, as vaccine rollouts gain momentum to return the world’s mobility to get the globe moving again.”
WTN founder Juergen Steinmetz agrees with WTTC in applauding Greece for a brave move: “Greece is definitely setting a trend, but we do not yet know what travel could mean for the import the virus, especially new strains. We don’t know if vaccinated people can be carriers, and we need to make sure Greece can react if the expectation is not in alliance with the new reality. If the reality for Greece generates an indication contrary to what is expected, Greece should include a clear path forward and guidelines for both scenarios before opening the country. A sliding plan like it is established in Hawaii may be a good example.”
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