The key will be the application of methods, so that the visitors who come to Greece are checked immediately and effectively for a possible case. In practice, this means that COVID-19 detection tests will be performed at airports, either on all tourists or on those indicated as “suspicious” thermal cameras.
It also examines the terms under which hotels will reopen, with changes (to keep minimum distance) to restaurants, beaches, bars and provision for reserve rooms that will function as possible “quarantines”.
“Of course, we are working on various alternative scenarios for the control of tourists,” Tourism Minister Ch. Theocharis told euronews. \ _ “It goes without saying that these are measures that we are already considering – carefully and intensively, so that we are ready to implement them immediately. We try to find the systems and procedures based on how realistic their use is, from a technological and economic point of view. The means of control of incoming visitors to Greece should be modern, efficient and in terms of the cost of their purchase and operation . It is a prerequisite for a rapid resumption of our tourism industry. “
“No” to the general travel ban
Greece is facing scenarios that want travel abroad to be banned at least for this year.
The Greek government also insists that there should be a common European policy on air transport and that the current phenomenon in which every European country takes its own measures to tackle the pandemic should not continue.
Symela Touchtidou / euronews: There is information that this year European countries will ban their citizens from traveling abroad. Does Greece agree with this policy?
Haris Theocharis / Minister of Tourism: ” In no case do we agree with such a thing . Undoubtedly, the restrictive measures currently in place are absolutely necessary to protect public health. However, this does not mean that the free movement of people should be paralyzed, and indefinitely. If nothing else, we all need to hope that the nightmare that the planet is living now will end soon. We need to dream that we will travel again, that we will look for brighter places, such as Greece, to spend our holidays and so on. But in order to keep hope alive, we must exhaust all the possibilities that modern technology gives us in the field of medicine. So that we can apply methods of effective, mass and, above all, cheap control for the immediate identification of potential carriers of the virus. With such prevention and protection methods as those that I believe will soon be used internationally, we will be able to open the borders between countries. Always based on a plan, adhering to the specific protocols that will be indicated by the scientists. “
A comparative advantage is the successful treatment of pandemics
The Minister of Tourism estimates that Greece will be at the top of the preferences of tourists, when travel will be allowed, thanks to the successful policy of dealing with COVID-19.
Safety and the feeling that they will be able to receive effective medical care in the event of an accident will be one of the key factors in choosing a destination country.
“Objectively speaking, this offers Greece a great advantage,” says Ch. Theocharis. “A look at how the pandemic is evolving internationally proves that our country is declining in number of cases from day to day. This means that we have gained valuable time. Which we will use for the faster recovery of the national economy as a whole – and, of course, with the tourism sector in the forefront. “
The Ministry of Tourism is also considering measures to strengthen domestic tourism, but they will depend on the margins given by the Ministry of Finance.
However important the contribution of Greek tourists is, they do not bring the valuable currency that “bloodshed” the Greek economy.
The axes for the restart of tourism
- The first axis will be the appropriate protocols which will make possible the movement of citizens between countries with absolute security,
- The second axis will be the effective precaution of destinations throughout Greece, when these places will be ready to welcome tourists.
- The third axis will be the redefinition of the targeting of our tourism policy. The Ministry of Tourism is working intensively on how to adapt the plans to the new data, as they were shaped by the pandemic. They are planning how Greece will be advertised in countries and markets where there is a mood, but at the same time the possibility of attracting tourists.
- The last axis will be the support of the competitiveness of the Greek tourist product . “In every way, by making every effort, we will strengthen the range and variety of services that Greece offers to our guests. If nothing else, we have the creative potential and the experience to proceed immediately with the actions that are needed “, the Minister of Tourism, Ch. Theocharis, emphasizes in euronews.