Greece’s new tourism promotion campaign for the 2020 season, was presented at Aegli open-air cinema in Zappeion on Thursday, in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
In his opening speech, the PM said that “this summer will be different than what we planned,” due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. The “Restart Tourism” campaign is targeted to foreign audiences and social platforms abroad, to encourage tourists to come to Greece.
Mitsotakis also said he was encouraged by the Greek statistical service’s results for the first quarter of the year, which showed that the recession in Greece was 0.9%, a rate that was significantly lower than in other Eurozone countries where it averaged -3.2% for January-March. He warned however, that the second quarter will be very difficult:“The Greek economy met the coronavirus crisis with great force. The second quarter will be very difficult, and we hope that things will improve from the third quarter on.”
“The success in facing the pandemic allows us to return to the new economic normalcy gradually, by opening sectors gradually.” Tourism, a sector the Greek economy is tied to in multiple ways, could not be exempted from this gradual reopening, he noted.
Authorities “will be very strict” in terms of ensuring tourism employees keep the personal protection measures and if nothing goes amiss internationally, Greece will be able to allow “almost all countries” to come to Greece, he said, referring to bans of flights from countries with heavy epidemiological loads.
Greece’s borders will be “open” from June 15th, with flights permitted to land in Athens and Thessaloniki. The countries are: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, North Macedonia, Norway, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, Switzerland, and Finland.
Tourists themselves “will come to a Greece that is the same but at the same time different,” the PM pointed out. “They will have to observe the basic hygiene protocols invariably. The protection of public health, the safety of visitors and workers in tourism remain our top non-negotiable priority. It is to our advantage that in the summer we will be in open air, where specialists say that the possibilities of contagion are significantly reduced.”
“Greece is more than just sea and sun,” said Mitsotakis. “What we want to communicate is that Greek summer…is a state of mind.”
“The state is doing whatever it can to help with an unprecedented support package, and the interest-guaranteed loan fund has already received several requests,” Mitsotakis added.
The PM’s brief address was followed by the short “Restart Tourism” campaign video, which begins with the question “What makes Greek summer so precious?”