Greek tourism welcomes EU announcement on restart of key industry

Greek tourism leaders welcomed the European Commission’s announcements and recommendations on restarting tourism in Europe on Wednesday, and said they confirmed the importance of tourism in country economies.

The Commission recommended the gradual lifting of restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic that have paralysed the key sector, which contributes 10 pct to the EU’s GDP and accounts for 12 pct of its labor force.

“The apparently positive proposals of the EU are the first and vital step to restarting tourism,” Yiannis Retsos, president of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) said in a social media message. The restart of flights, inter-country agreements to open borders, the support of employment and the use of liquidity tools will shape the tourism season, he said.

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels president Alexandros Vassilikos said that the Commission’s recommendations on Wednesday “emphatically confirm three things: first, the importance of tourism in all European economies; second, the extent and depth of the problems faced by all businesses in the hospitality sector; and third, the urgent need for tourism’s restart.”