Published on : Wednesday, December 30, 2020
Greece’s tourism industry is expecting to recover next summer following a dramatic fall in revenues due to the coronavirus pandemic this year, according to reports of a senior industry official. Tourism is the key driver of Greece’s economy, and accounts for about 20% of its output and employs one in five workers.
How the sector fares is crucial for the country which emerged from its third international bailout in 2018 after a decade-long debt crisis. Greece expects its economy to shrink by about 10 percent this year and is pinning its hopes in the second half of 2021 for an economic recovery.
Yoannis Retsos, Head of Greece’s Tourism Confederation (SETE), said in a press statement that tourism revenues this year had reached 4 billion euros, down from 18 billion in 2019, due to global travel restrictions to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He mentioned that the country will need to wait for the second half of the year to see some sort of action in tourism. He mentioned that anything the country’s tourism industry sees from May on would be a very positive surprise.
Based on the latest official data from the Bank of Greece, tourism arrivals fell 76% in the January-to-October period. Greece has reported 135,931 infections since it documented its first case in February and 4,672 deaths. The country has been in a nationwide lockdown since early November and allowed only hair salons and bookstores to reopen for the Christmas season.