Tourism Minister Kikilias:Tourism is directly linked to health

First government cabinet meeting of the newly elected government of New Democracy party, in the Hellenic Parliament, in Athens, Greece on July 10, 2019. / Πρώτο υπουργικό συμβούλιo της νεοεκλεγείσας κυβέρνησης στο Ελληνικό Κοινοβούλιο, στις 10 Ιουλίου 2019.

“Tourism is directly linked to health. And this was proved as in two years we were able to ‘re-brand’ the country as a safe destination, something that helped tourism to the maximum degree,” Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said on Friday in an interview with Antenna.

“Even when there was no vaccination, we had a tourism product in 2020, that is, when we did not have vaccines and all the other Mediterranean countries were closed, because we built an excellent testing system, referral hospitals, health centres, air transport and cooperated with the tourism sector, the hoteliers, with quarantine hotels, with private doctors who entered the testing system,” noted Kikilias.

In a period of 1.5 years, Greece created new ICU beds, hired over 10,000 health professionals and set up an excellent vaccination programme, one of the best in existence, he added.

Focusing on health protocols, he underlined: “And this year with our health protocols, with the feeling of security of our visitors, despite having forecasts for 5-6 billion euros in tourism revenues, these have already reached 12 billion euros. Although we are in November, we still have tourists and visitors in Rhodes and Crete.”