Canada Association of Tourism Employees

Reopening Tourism in Greece applauded by WTTC is met with warning by WTN

Is the reopening of tourism a trend that other travel destinations should follow? Is it an example for the world of tourism? Nobody can know the answer yet, but Greece is taking the gamble and WTN and WTTC applauded.

  1. Greece is taking the lead in reopening its travel and tourism industries to vaccinated visitors
  2. WTTC welcomes the Greeks’ plan for it to be exactly in line with WTTC guidelines
  3. WTN also welcomes the Greeks’ plan, but would like a sliding scheme that can react quickly to unforeseen situations.

Many in the travel industry cite a good plan and a way forward; others say it is still risky. The Greeks’ COVID-19 cases are only on the upswing today, March 10, 2021, with 2,629 new cases and 43 deaths

Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), praised the decision of Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis when he announced that Greece will welcome visitors this summer who have been vaccinated, have antibodies or tested negative for coronavirus . Greece is slated to reopen from mid-May, which is a little over a couple of months away.

WTTC members are the largest travel companies in the world.
The World Tourism Network surveyed its members in Greece and those who responded also welcomed the Greek government’s approach. The members of the World Tourism Network are mainly medium-sized and small businesses and the public sector in 126 countries.

“This clear roadmap to recovery could open the door to a rush summer of travel again for sun-hungry vacationers fleeing to Greece and looking to significantly boost the country’s economy,” said Guevara.

“It also shows the path other countries could follow to enable safe travel and help revitalize their own troubled economies.

“The strategy and actions of the Greek government are largely in line with the WTTC recommendations and we are pleased that travelers will soon be greeted with a vaccination record, negative test or positive antibody test, with only positive cases required for quarantine.

“These entry requirements, along with random rapid tests on arrival, improved health and hygiene measures, and the compulsory wearing of masks throughout the trip and in public spaces, provide the security consumers need to book their trips.

“Greece is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe for travelers and as such is heavily reliant on international travel, with Germany and the UK being the main source markets.

“In 2019, the travel and tourism sector contributed 20.8% of the country’s total GDP (EUR 39.1 billion) and supported more than a fifth of all jobs – which shows how important travel and tourism will be to the economy .

Gloria Guevara said: “We strongly believe that the Greek Roadmap shows the practical way for other countries to encourage the return of safer travel as vaccine adoption gains momentum to restore mobility to the world and the globe again.” to get moving. “

WTN founder Jürgen Steinmetz agrees with WTTC to applaud Greece for a bold move: “Greece is definitely setting a trend, but we don’t yet know what travel could mean for the import of the virus, especially for new strains. We don’t know if people who have been vaccinated can be carriers and we need to make sure that Greece can respond when the expectation does not match the new reality. If reality gives Greece any indication that is contrary to expectations, Greece should have a clear path forward and guidelines for both scenarios before opening the country. A sliding plan such as the one set up in Hawaii could be a good example. “

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