Πέμπτη, 26 Νοεμβρίου 2020

Greece’s largest and most populous island, Crete .. from space

 

Greece’s largest and most populous island, Crete, is featured in this image captured by the Copernicus Sentinel-1 mission.

The two identical Copernicus Sentinel-1 satellites carry radar instruments, which can see through clouds and rain, and in the dark, to image Earth’s surface below. The sea surface reflects the radar signal away from the satellite, making water appear dark in the image, while cities on the island are visible in white owing to the strong reflection of the radar signal.

Crete extends for approximately 260 km from west to east, and is approximately 60 km across at its widest point. Crete is known for its rugged terrain and is dominated by a high mountain range crossing from west to east. 

This includes the Lefká Ori, or ‘White Mountains’ in the west, Mount Ida, Crete’s highest mountain, visible in the centre of the island, and the Díkti Mountains in the east. Crete’s capital and largest city of the island, Heraklion, is located along the northern coastline.

Several other smaller islands are dotted around the image, including Gavdos, Chrisi and Dia.

Read more ESA

Always the sea ..

Beach Resort: Plakias suites

Crete 3rd best global destination in TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award 2020


 

The popular online travel/tourism platform released its 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards and Crete featured in 3rd spot. Only London and Paris bested the Greek island in popularity.

 As the piece notes on Crete, it is the birthplace of both the king of the Olympian gods and of modern European civilization, dubbing it a Mediterranean jewel. 

It’s rich with archaeological and mythological history that’s reflected in its ancient ruins and cultural attractions. 

Soak up the charming atmosphere of Chania Town’s Old Venetian Harbor or the fortresses and monasteries of Rethymnon. 

The awesome Minoan ruins of Malia date to 1900 BC and majestic Mt. Ida is said to be home to the cave where Zeus was born.

Survey: Greece Among Top 3 Booking Choices for US Travelers

 

Greece is among the top three international destinations that American travelers are booking, according to a survey on tourism recovery in the post-coronavirus era released by the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA).

The new findings from a survey of USTOA’s Tour Operator Active Members on post-Covid-19 plans for recovery and resumption of business, found that Italy topped the list of destinations of choice, followed by Ireland, and in third spot Greece, Germany, and the UK.

“We saw Europe have a strong presence in last year’s survey and PwC’s survey the year prior, showing us that there is still strong interest and growth for European travel amongst US consumers,” said USTOA President and CEO, Terry Dale


It should be noted that half (50 percent) of USTOA members anticipate returning to Europe in the second quarter of 2021, 33 percent of which specifically named April 2021.  

Two thirds (69 percent) of respondents to the survey conducted in late October, say they are confident or highly confident that guest bookings will increase in 2021 while nine out of 10 expressed their company’s outlook for resumption of business in 2021 is optimistic or cautiously optimistic. 

Indicatively, 63 percent of tour operator members reported an increase in new bookings in the last 60 days, while 29 percent reported no change with bookings remaining the same. 

With regard to time of travel based on bookings made in the last 60 days, 92 percent of active agents said travel bookings were made for the third quarter of 2021, 79 percent for Q4 2021, 69 percent for Q2 2021, while 33 percent for first quarter of 2021. Additionally, 21 percent reported bookings for Q4 2020 and 60 percent for 2022.

In terms of average age of those who traveled or are booked to travel between July and December 2020, the survey reports 43 percent in the 56-74 age group, 26 percent – 40-55-year-olds, 15 percent in the 24-39 bracket, 8 percent 23 or younger and 8 percent – 75+.

 

According to the study, USTOA’s active members named small group tours as the most popular travel product for 2021, followed by private groups, FIT, river cruising, small ship cruising, and classic group tours (25+ passengers).

Safety and wellness appear to have the strongest influence on consumers choosing a travel destination in 2021, followed by border reopening/government travel restrictions and lastly, distance/ease of travel to and from destination, value, and outdoor components.  

Cancellation/refund policy was named the top most frequently asked question during bookings in the last 60 days, followed by queries about health protocols and health/Covid-19 insurance policies.  

Lastly, with regard to re-opening business, active members named customer confidence as the biggest obstacle to operating in 2021, followed by border closing and confusion across countries/states and uncertainty of Covid-19 vaccine.

Other concerns included coordination of protocols across states/borders/suppliers, availability of rapid Covid-19 testing, flight connectivity, insurance coverage, news media cycle, and insecurity about suppliers.

 Source GTP

Athens in top 10 friendliest European cities: Condé Nast Traveler

 


Athens is on the list of the top ten friendliest cities in Europe, published by Condé Nast Traveller (CNT) travel magazine.

“While Europe’s best cities are often judged on their ancient history, intricate architecture, unrivalled art scene or amazing restaurants, sometimes what makes a place so great are its people,” CNT wrote.

The Friendliest Cities in Europe

Galway, Ireland – 97.33
Dublin, Ireland – 95.81
Valletta, Malta – 95
Oporto, Portugal – 93.82
Lisbon, Portugal – 93.67
Bologna, Italy – 93.51
Edinburg, UK – 92.54
Reykjavik, Iceland – 92.4
Athens, Greece – 92.32
Helsinki, Finland – 91.76

Launched in the United States in 1987, Condé Nast Traveler is a market-leading monthly travel magazine. With its motto of “Truth in Travel”, the publication provides enlightening content on a wide range of topics, including destinations, hotels, food and beverage, airlines as well as fashion, cars, digital, and grooming.

 

Minister: Tourism Not to Blame for Second Covid-19 Wave in Greece

 

Tourism cannot be blamed for the recurrence of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis this week, supporting the government’s decision earlier this summer to re-open to travelers despite the unprecedented conditions.

Speaking on pubic radio, Theoharis said that Covid-19 was a war and “in times of war, decisions are made based on data in order to achieve the best possible result”. 

“2020 was an extremely difficult year. The government had to ensure balance between its health obligations towards our fellow citizens and the gradual opening of the Greek economy which includes tourism,” he said.

“We managed to find a much better balance than most European countries and that gives us pride,” he said, adding that Greece has been recognized internationally for its success in safely opening to tourism.

Theoharis went on to add that Greece managed to safely handle approximately 6 million travelers this year, which was a significant gain for the Greek economy.

“Fears of an early second wave in the summer with the arrival of tourists have been dispelled and it is clear that the opening of tourism is not responsible for the second wave of the pandemic,” he said.

 

Theoharis went on to reiterate the importance of the decision to re-open to travelers noting that it strengthened Greece’s “brand name” and reputation as a country that was able to manage the Covid-19 crisis well, leaving the best impressions on visitors.

This, he said, was demonstrated by the number of awards Greek tourism and travel businesses and infrastructure, including Athens International Airport and AEGEAN airlines, won for enforcing strict protocols and ensuring safe travel.

“This demonstrates that protocols were followed with professionalism, seriousness and consistency, as should be the case,” he said.

The minister lastly referred to a national tourism plan currently being drawn up focusing on short-term objectives including the best preparation for 2021 as well as on broader strategic actions.

Source GTP

Greece in Process of Forming 10-year Strategic Plan for Tourism

 


The Greek government is in the process of putting a 10-year strategic plan for tourism in place following the country’s performance as a safe destination in summer 2020, according to Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis.

Speaking on Monday during the 4th International Hospitality Forum (IHF), held in a digital format by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) and Phocuswright, Minister Theoharis said that Greece’s decision to ‘open’ its tourism market this past summer, in the midst of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, showed results and led to a huge success story.

“None of us will reminisce 2020 in the future with positive feelings, as it is a year in which tourism has taken a serious blow at a global scale. Nevertheless, I firmly believe that we need to turn to the light and not let ourselves get lost in the darkness. Every big crisis can turn into a big opportunity if we focus on the light,” the minister said.

“Especially for Greek tourism, for the professionals and the employees involved in the sector, the current health crisis has already worked as an opportunity to allow conscientiousness, dutifulness – filotimo – and caring for our fellow human beings to shine through,” Theoharis said.

 Referring to Greece’s tourism performance in the summer, the minister said the country accommodated approximately 5 million foreign visitors, enforcing health and safety guidelines that were almost meticulously adhered to.

“Based on full-proof evidence, the number of confirmed COVID cases was minimal, down to a mere 0.03 percent among the tourists,” the minister said.

According to Theoharis, the sector’s performance led Greece to the top of all tourist destinations in Southern Europe.

“The health and safety protocols were followed without fail by all the hotels and therefore we managed to strengthen, more effectively than ever before, the brand ‘Greece’,” he said, adding that the country created significant credibility and trust reserves, which it can capitalize on in the tourism seasons to follow.

 10-year strategic plan

At this point, Minister Theoharis announced that the tourism ministry is already in the process of putting a 10-year strategic plan in place.

“Tourism changes incessantly. The new facts require adjustments, innovation and creativity so that Greece can maintain the leading role it has conquered. Alongside this role, tourism can maintain its vital surplus value for the national economy as well for society at large,” he said.

As underlined by the minister, the 10-year strategic plan for Greek tourism needs to be coordinated with the priorities of the RRF (Recovery & Resilience Fund). Based on these priorities, new funding tools will be formulated starting in 2021 and for the years to follow.

The minister then emphasized the importance of two terms: sustainable growth and digital reform – the two themes of the 4th IHF.

“The thematics of this forum are to-the-point regarding sustainability as well as the rapid integration of new technologies in all aspects of the global tourism market… These two factors will determine the touristic future of our country. They will thus safeguard that Greece remains securely at the top of global tourism in the years to follow,” he said.

“The virtual organization of this event further testifies to the unshakable fact that our future is digital,” Minister theoharis added.

continue GTP

Bougatsa with orange cream

 By: Ioanna Stamoulou | | Desserts, Mediterranean Cooking

 This delicious Greek pastry with cream ranks among the highest of any treats you have ever tried… Give it a try with an orange cream this time! It’s amazing!

Serves: 8 Prep. time: 15′ Cooks in: 40′ Ready in: 55′

Ingredients
2 puff pastry sheets
1/2 cup butter, melted

For the cream
500 ml milk
1 orange, zested
100 ml fresh orange juice
50 g fine semolina
30 g flour, sifted
2 eggs
100 g sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

For serving
icing sugar
cinnamon

Method
Step 1
Heat milk with orange zest on medium heat in a large heavy bottom pan.

Step 2
Beat eggs with sugar and vanilla in your mixer bowl, add semolina and flour beating at all times. Add orange juice and beat until well-combined. Incorporate 1 ladle of milk in the egg and semolina mixture, beating at all times. Transfer mixture in the pan, stirring at all times and allowing to come to a boil. When it thickens, remove pan from heat. Allow to cool. Preheat oven at 180οC/fan.

Step 3
Brush a clean surface with butter. Lay the first puff pastry sheet and brush with butter. Transfer half cream in the center of the sheet in a rectangular shape. Bring in the edges, brush with a little water and close in a packet. Repeat the procedure once more. Place upside down on a baking dish lined with non-stick baking parchment.

Step 4
Brush the two bougatsas with butter and bake for 30 minutes or until nicely colored. Serve warm. Cut each bougatsa in four pieces and sprinkle with sifted icing sugar and cinnamon.

Σάββατο, 2 Μαΐου 2020

Crete Joins #Greecefromhome Initiative – Video

Crete has joined the #Greecefromhome initiative with the launch of a new video and a website, which feature the special moments and unforgettable experiences the region can offer visitors.

#GreecefromHome is an online tourism platform developed by the Greek Tourism Ministry, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO), Marketing Greece and Google, inviting people to explore Greece – not by traveling physically, but virtually – straight from the safety of their homes.

Following the same concept, the #cretefromhome video reminds viewers of Crete’s natural beauties, museums, archaeological sites and culture, and invites potential travelers to visit the island after the ease of the COVID-19 travel restrictions.

“The website was created with the aim to share with you the Crete that you love. Because tomorrow must find us strong and prepared,” Crete Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis said.

The new website gives internet users the opportunity to discover, explore, taste and experience the island’s sites and cultural heritage through high-quality photos and videos from the comfort of their home.

“To the millions of Crete’s visitors and to those who are planning a trip to our island, we wish to say that Crete is the place you should visit, the island that calls you to return… [In the meantime], we stay home and promise that Crete is here, ready to welcome you,” the island’s governor added.

The #cretefromhome website will be constantly updated with new material provided by local bodies and cultural organizations. Visit the website here.
(source gtp)

Παρασκευή, 1 Μαΐου 2020

Covid-19: EU Safe Travel Policy Key to Rebooting Tourism, Greek Minister Tells CNN


Coming up with and implementing a harmonized safe travel policy across the EU in the aftermath of the Covid-19 (coronavirus) health crisis is a key priority to rebooting tourism in Europe, said Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis on Thursday.

Speaking to CNN’s Richard Quest, Theoharis said that Greece was pressuring the EU together with other member states to take decisive action in this direction so as to both salvage air transport as well as ensure that travelers can plan safe holidays.

Greece demonstrated clarity, quick response and responsibility achieving to contain the spread of Covid-19 and to keep infections and deaths low compared to most countries in the world.

The Greek minister stressed that this was achieved through ongoing collaboration and guidance by health experts and epidemiologists and that the same strategy will be applied with regard to gradually reopening the country to tourism.


Theoharis, who has also appeared on BBC and Bloomberg this week, underlined the importance of reaching a common EU agreement on health standards for travel to be implemented by all member states so as to get airplanes off the ground and reignite the economy, which in turn will generate the much-needed revenue to support heavily-hit national health systems.

The minister went on to add that post-Covid-19 tourism will require a new travel model which will be put to the test this summer. Some of the recommendations on the table include health certificates, risk-free documents, and the on-the-spot testing.

On a final note, Theoharis underlined that Greece has managed to “flatten the curve” in very large part due to the discipline of its people. Despite being considered the “black sheep” of the EU family, Greece has set a good example and it is exactly the same responsibility that Greek hoteliers and professionals will demonstrate this summer, he said.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Greece together with at least 11 other EU member states called on the European Commission to revise its air passenger rights directive paving the way for the temporary issuance of vouchers in efforts to rescue air transport in the aftermath of Covid-19.

It is mentioned that CNN’s Richard Quest had announced via his twitter account on April 20 that he had been infected with Covid-19.
 (source https://news.gtp.gr/author/mariaparavantes)

Greece among the safest holiday destinations, German Bild reports

The good handling of the Covid-19 spread resulted in low infections
 
Greece is on the list of eight countries where one can enjoy their summer holidays this year without the fear of the coronavirus, as German newspaper Bild reports.

In the article, the German newspaper wonders where one could go on vacation while the Covid-19 nightmare continues in many countries, listing a list of ideal destinations.

Some countries, such as Greece, Croatia, Austria and Switzerland, are suitable destinations for German tourists as the piece points out that the timely restrictive measures taken by the authorities resulted in an effective control of of its spread.

Citing a high-ranking German government official, the Bild newspaper says there is optimism that the tourist season will not be completely lost this year.

Austria’s largest travel magazine ranks Greece as the safest destination

Greece received top marks in safety from Covid-19

According to a survey by Austria’s largest chain of travel agencies, Ruefa, 90% of Austrians will travel this summer, with Greece being their top choice. According to TUI, Austrians will pick Greece, followed by Spain, Turkey, Italy, Egypt and Croatia.

On the occasion of this research, the largest Austrian tourist magazine “TAI” published an article entitled: “Gradual relaxation of Lockdown – Analysis of travel to the top 6 destinations.”

The article, featuring Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in its main photo, analyses the Mediterranean countries in terms of security amid the Covid-19 pandemic and Greece received top marks.

As the piece reports, Greece is considered one of the safest destinations after the appearance of the coronavirus (security level 4, as do Egypt and Croatia), highlighting the dominance of our country among the summer destinations in the Austrian tourist market, due to direct air connections with 21 Greek destinations and flights that would start from May 2020.

The article also refers to the small number of cases and the speech of the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Monday, April 13.
(source proto thema)

Hellenic Film Society USA Suggests Greek-Related Videos and Films

Hellenic Film Society USA President Jimmy DeMetro at the Museum of the Moving Image screening of Costa-Gavras' Z. (Photo by Eleni Sakellis)


NEW YORK – The Hellenic Film Society USA (HFS) offered more suggestions for Greek-related videos and films to watch during the coronavirus lockdown.

As noted in an email from HFS, “In New York, we’re on Day 35 of staying at home.

We hope that you—and all those you care about— are healthy and safe.

We can guess that you’re still looking for entertaining, inspiring, and interesting things to do so, back by popular demand, we curated the following Greek-related content—from Jimmy Fallon and Giannis Antetokounmpo to National Geographic—that we hope you’ll enjoy.

“We’re heartened by your tremendous response to our recent email blasts and happy to see that you’re clicking and engaging (and we hope it’s not just because you’re bored!). “And if you’ve seen something elsewhere that has particularly moved or entertained you that we may want to share, please email us… we’d love to hear from you!

“Finally, if you haven’t yet seen all the Greek short films we posted on our YouTube channel, we’re making them available for free.

“In the meantime, stay inside, stay healthy and, when it’s safe, we’ll see you at the movies!”

Among the selections suggested by HFS, The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon with guest Luke Bryan “On how to pronounce gyro,” a short video from National Geographic on Ancient Greece, a video on “How to Dance the Hasapiko,” and Giannis Antetokounmpo inviting us to visit Greece:

HFS also noted that the the 3rd Annual New York Greek Film Expo, previously scheduled for June 11-20, has been postponed due to public health concerns related to the coronavirus. HFS will keep us informed of revised plans as they develop.

More information about HFS is available online: https://hellenicfilmusa.org.
And on Youtube, search Hellenic Film Society USA.

source thenationalherald.com

Pineapple, turmeric and coconut smoothie

By: Λάμπρος Βακιάρος | Liqueurs-Smoothies, Mediterranean Cooking

The ingredients in this smoothie are loaded with fiber and nutrients. It’s the best way to start your day!

Serves: 15 Prep. time: 2′ + soaking overnight Cooks in: 0′ Ready in: 3′

Ingredients
 
350 g fresh pineapple
140 g banana
160 g red apple
3 g turmeric
30 g chia seeds
15 ml coconut oil
240 ml coconut or rice or cow’s milk
10 ice cubes

Method

Step 1
Soak chia seeds in a little milk or water overnight in the fridge.

Step 2
The next day peel all fruit and transfer in a blender. Add remaining ingredients and whizz until really smooth.

Step 3
Divide smoothie in glasses and enjoy on ice.

Και η συνταγή στα ελληνικά: Αποτοξινωτικό smoothie με ανανά, κουρκουμά και καρύδα

Τετάρτη, 8 Απριλίου 2020

Greece can become a strong destination, Greek Interior Minister Theodorikakos says

“Greece can become a strong destination of security and mental health for the whole world”

“Achieving the Greek government’s goal for as few losses of human lives as possible will have an impact on our new economic starting point for the next day,” Interior Minister Takis Theodorikakos said on Sunday in an interview with “Eleftheros Typos”.

“If we remain an exemplary country, Greece can become a strong destination of security and mental health for the whole world.

It can be an advantage for the country in the very difficult world that will emerge after the coronavirus crisis,” the Minister said.

Referring to the strictness of the measures and their acceptance by the citizens, Theodorikakos underlined: “All this is done through a process of democratic persuasion and the conscious self-discipline of the citizens.
(Source: amna)

WTTC implores G20 leaders to save the travel sector globally – 75 million jobs at risk

One million jobs are being lost each day in the sector & the GDP loss to the world economy could reach $2.1 trillion in 2020

 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has urged governments to prevent “a catastrophic collapse” in the travel and tourism industry following the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, routesonline.com reports.

The call comes as G20 leaders meet in Saudi Arabia today to discuss the pandemic.

WTTC implored the leaders to assign resources and coordinate efforts to rescue major travel businesses such as airlines, cruises, GDS, hotels, and technology companies.

The organization underlined that one million jobs are being lost each day in the sector and the GDP loss to the world economy could be up to $2.1 trillion in 2020.

Liqueurs-Smoothies, Mediterranean Cooking Ginger – banana energy smoothie

By: Λάμπρος Βακιάρος | | Liqueurs-Smoothies, Mediterranean Cooking

Creamy and sweet, this smoothie is the perfect, on-the-go energizing drink. It’s loaded with nutrients and is beyond delicious. Add your favorite superfood if you wish.

Serves: 2 Prep. time: 15′ Ready in: 15′

Ingredients
2 medium ripe bananas
1 small red apple
1 small piece fresh ginger, grated
1 cup fresh orange juice
½ cup almond milk
ice

Method
Step 1
Peel fruit and cut in pieces.

Step 2
Whizz all ingredients with some ice in your blender until smooth.

Step 3
Serve with extra ice if you wish.

Greece did something right in dealing with coronavirus spread, writes Bloomberg

The article says Greece acted fast 

A Bloomberg article makes reference to Greece’s successful curtailment of the spread of coronavirus in a report focusing on the timing of nationwide responses for the Covid-19 outbreak.

The piece stresses that Greek authorities adopted measures fast compared to other countries in Europe.

“It may seem harsh, but the markets are recovering and people are still dying, and this marks a turning point in the spread of the epidemic,” the author writes  expressing modest optimism about the development of the pandemic worldwide and its impact on the world economy.

“The situation is stressful and the social distancing is difficult to tolerate, but there are indications that the loss of lives on a larger scale has been prevented,” the author added.

At this point he uses Greece as a case study pointing out that on the issue of the coronavirus, the country seems to have done something right.

“Greece quickly shut down its economy at the first sign of trouble, at a time when tourist destinations were about to open. That seems to have worked.”


The article lists a table showing how quickly Greece has taken measures to implement the social distance compared to Italy and Japan.

Desserts, Mediterranean Cooking Goji berry chocolate porridge

By: Λάμπρος Βακιάρος | | Desserts, Mediterranean Cooking

 A chocolaty goodness, an amazing comforting breakfast dish that the whole family will love! No added sugar, full of protein and chocolate!

Serves: 2 Prep. time: 10′ Cooks in: 10′ Ready in: 20′

Ingredients
1 cup oats
4 eggs, the whites
2½ cups milk
1 tbsp honey
¼ cup walnuts
1 tsp good quality cocoa
3 tbsp dried goji berries
1 tbsp dark chocolate, finely chopped

Methods
Step 1
In a non-stick medium pot stir all ingredients on medium heat for 10 mins or until porridge thickens and egg whites are cooked and well combined.

Step 2
Serve in breakfast bowls and sprinkle with extra nuts, dark chocolate or dried fruit if you wish.

Πέμπτη, 26 Μαρτίου 2020

New Greek tourism campaign urges travelers to #staysafe and keep dreaming of Greece

Better days are surely coming, but to stay safe in the meantime

The new campaign by “Marketing Greece” urges international travelers to “#staysafe” during these difficult times due to the coronavirus pandemic — while continuing to dream and plan an escape to the stunningly beautiful country of Greece, according to greekreporter.com.

Marketing Greece is a collaboration of private sector tourism businesses with the goal of promoting the Greek tourism product abroad.

With their main slogan “Till Then, #StaySafe”, Marketing Greece has created content, offered — without charge — to Greek tourist businesses.

Their overall aim is to share the message with the international tourist public that better days are surely coming, while urging them to stay safe in the meantime.
(Source: Tornos)

New York Times: “Greece has 227 islands. See how to choose”

The islands cater for all tastes 

 New York Times published a feature piece presenting the unique beauties of the 227 Greek islands and pointers on which one to choose for holidays.

According to the article, 30 million travellers visit Greece annually and pick islands in six main island regions of the country.

The piece entitled “Greece has 227 islands. See how to choose” focuses on the criteria one must have to select the ideal island destination for their taste.
Greece receives approximately 30 million international visitors each year, with many heading to the country’s six main island regions.
Choosing where to visit depends on your entry point — Greece has 15 international airports — and how much time you have.
Ferries are an ideal way to get around, especially if you’re a first-time visitor.
Sights from the sea can be breathtaking and during various island stops vendors come on board selling snacks, like the must-try nougat pies on routes heading to the Cyclades.
Even though some islands may seem close geographically, trips can be long with ferries making multiple stops or not having daily departures. Ferries.gr and Ferryhopper.com are reliable sites for researching and booking tickets in advance, which is advised.
 more at nytimes.com

Τετάρτη, 25 Μαρτίου 2020

Greek Tourism Sector Recovery Depends on Covid-19 Crisis Duration, Says BoG


The duration of the coronavirus pandemic will be the decisive factor for the Greek tourism industry’s comeback, according to Bank of Greece (BoG) Governor Yannis Stournaras.

According to the March report issued by the central bank, it is too early to assess the repercussions of the coronavirus health crisis on the Greek economy but the tourism industry and particularly revenue is set to suffer a blow.

“The outlook for the tourism sector for 2020 is expected to be affected by the extent of the coronavirus spread,” said the BoG.

At the same time, the latest decisions to ban all circulation and travel, close down hotels for a month, stop incoming flights, as well as impose 14-day quarantines in efforts to restrict the spread of Covid-19 have already taken a toll on the industry.

Demonstrating the importance of the tourism industry today compared to a decade ago, central bank data cites 2019 travel receipts which came to 18.2 billion euros accounting for 9.7 percent of GDP at current rates. In 2010, tourism accounted for a mere 4.3 percent of GDP.

At the same time, the sector’s seasonality is also set to impact revenue. It should be noted that four months – June, July, August, and September – accounted for 73.9 percent of all tourism-related revenue in the last nine years.

Indicatively, in 2019, out of a total of 18.2 billion euros in annual travel receipts, 13.3 billion euros were generated in the June-September period.

Other negative factors include the uncertainty and the resulting deterioration of the investor climate.
Last year’s tourism performance with increased arrivals and overnight stays for a seventh consecutive year had paved the way for an even stronger year in 2020 before the Covid-19 crisis hit.

According to 2019 figures, the number of beds increased by 1.4 percent in 2019 against 2018 boosting employment by 9 percent.

Lastly, according to the BoG report, besides tourism, other sectors set to feel the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic and suffer losses include transport, trade, F&B, and services related to entertainment and recreation.
(source:gtp)

Δευτέρα, 23 Μαρτίου 2020