Yesterday’s information on the course of vaccinations and the estimate that by May immunity of around 20% will be achieved – excluding immunity from disease – strengthened the climate of restrained optimism among tourism operators.
“We can open Easter” said a tourist agent to iefimerida, of course calculating that with strict rules the restaurant will be opened at the same time, so that the “package” is complete. The first target is of course domestic tourism and the belief is that Greeks will hesitate to go abroad and choose to move to destinations within the country. The second target, especially for the tourist operators of Northern Greece, are the Balkan neighbors.
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The usual traffic, from the Northern neighbors, during the Easter period, especially if it “falls” in May, is about 500 thousand people and it is obvious that if everything goes smoothly, such a wave will serve as a kiss of life for thousands of tourism businesses. in the area. It is with this in mind that bilateral contacts have begun, so that not a minute is lost.
Yesterday, according to information, the Minister of Tourism had contact with his Romanian counterpart and in March Ch. Theocharis will visit Bucharest to agree on the visit protocols. Apart from any agreements made for vaccination certificates, it is particularly attractive that Greek institutions will cover part of the molecular test (PCR) that will be required, e.g. with extra services to visitors, while organizations in Northern Greece are preparing to take the initiative to conduct rapid tests at the land border.
Romania is one of the five largest markets for Greece, as in 2019 1.378 million visitors came to our country, with an average cost of 350 euros. In addition to the bilateral contacts that have begun for Easter, the planning is done with the prospect of the summer season, as schools in Romania close for holidays on June 15th. There is a similar interest in the “market” of Bulgaria, with the footnote that both countries have a vaccination rate similar to that of Greece.
Road tourism is the “key” to revenue
Targeting road tourism, at this stage, is imperative, as the Western “market” will be slow to move forward. Analyzing the data from the client countries (United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands) the estimate is that this “market” will open from June onwards. It is, after all, indicative that to date the bookings are zero.
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Of course, in parallel with the preparations for this very critical season, where the goal is to collect at least 9 billion euros – that is, about 50% of the revenues of 2019 – all agencies are anxiously awaiting the ministerial decisions for two main financial “tools”: the subsidy of fixed costs and the subsidy of business loans. Undoubtedly, the loss of 14 billion euros last season opened many “wounds” in the industry and as industry players say, “from the algorithm for fixed costs and the criteria for” Bridge 2 “will be judged the survival of many companies and many jobs »…
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