Next month will kick off the Greece tourist season, with international charter flights to famous destinations resuming in July, says the prime minister.
“The tourism cycle begins on June 15, when the seasonal hotels will reopen,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Wednesday in a televised speech.
“Let’s make [Covid-19] crisis the epilog this summer,” he said.
The coronavirus pandemic is threatening to destroy the tourist industry in Greece which is crucial to the economy of the region.
Greece need tourism
The Greek statement came as EU Ministers for Tourism vowed to “do whatever it takes to restore European tourism fast and completely.”
As restrictions aimed at minimizing the spread of the virus throughout Europe are gradually eased, Mr Mitsotakis said that by handling the crisis Greece had shown that it was a “safety, credibility and health passport.”
“It’s a wonderful name,” said the prime minister. Adding that the nation had given a “hygienic shield in every position of hospitality. Our always motivated love for Xenios Zeus”. Among many other things the Greek god Zeus was god of xenia or hospitality.
Greece was credited for handling the pandemic, reporting 166 deaths associated with coronavirus, and 2,850 confirmed cases.
“We will win the fight for the economy just like we won the battle for health,” Mr Mitsotakis also said.
To promote tourism, Greece is now making travel cheaper. By briefly rising all transport value added tax (VAT) – airlines, bus journeys and also train travel. From 24 per cent to 13 per cent, Mr Mitsotakis said.
The popular Mediterranean destination will also offer incoming tourists sample coronavirus tests. Although it is not clear whether those will be available to everyone.
Greece has also been debating the tourist season pending with a variety of European countries. Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov said on Tuesday that his country would no longer need to quarantine asymptomatic citizens. Those who arrive from Greece and also Serbia on business and family trips from 1 June.