The president of the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) Mr. Giannis Retsos and journalist Elias Bellos, talked about the future of Greek tourism in the context of the 6th Economic Forum of Delphi, which is under the auspices of the President of the Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou.
Mr. Retsos stated that he is optimistic today during a “landmark” day for Greek tourism, as he characteristically stated. “The date is symbolic, it had to be set, but the flows are expected from the end of June onwards,” he clarified.
“There is great anxiety and hidden enthusiasm in the field of tourism that things will go well. Estimates in the industry have always been risky and even more so at this juncture. However, I am optimistic that we will achieve the goal of recovering part of the revenue compared to 2019. I think by the end of June we will have a better picture. But people are tired and will plan trips. ”
The most realistic scenario for Mr. Retsos is the goal of 40%, as long as there is no backtracking with the pandemic. “If nothing unpredictable happens, then we will have a good autumn,” he said.
Tourist traffic is expected to pick up from the end of June-beginning of July. “We have reservations from the United Kingdom and Germany, while at the moment we have mobility from France and Israel – although there with the recent conflicts we may have some developments. The positive suggestion of the US CDC has increased the demand from America, although the reservations are not guaranteed, as there are no cancellations. We expect 7 flights daily from the USA to Athens, an increase compared to 2019 “.
Russia remains a huge question mark as, while there is a great deal of will from Russian travelers, the Russian government is obstructing the resumption of travel, which is part of the overall Europe-Russia geopolitical game, Mr Retsos added.
Finally, he said that Greece remains an attractive destination for investment, stating that he is optimistic that Greek companies in the sector will “endure” and that there will be no anti-Hellenism in tourism that many fear. It is time for investments in the sector to proceed quickly, either in new tourism products or in the improvement of infrastructure, with money that will be given. “It is an opportunity that we must seize now in order to move on to the tourism of tomorrow,” he added.