7, Tsoha str, 11521, Athens

The global tourism sector faces an unprecedented crisis, and is challenged like never before in history. The pandemic of COVID-19 has a devastating impact across the sector, without country distinctions. In Greece, the season concluded with significant losses for the sector. The economic impact on the economy and the society is fierce, especially in regions with high dependence on tourism..

The main objective of the Greek government is to absorb much of the economic impact inflicted on businesses and employees by the crisis. We have initiated several economic relief packages since the onset of the pandemic, which are being extended and adjusted to this day, ahead of a tough winter. At the same time, we started the planning for 2021..

We are willing to capitalize the best practices of tourism restart last summer. We succeeded though, thanks to the cooperation between the state organizations and the private sector. Every single person worked with significant professionalism and projected credibility to the country’s tourism sector/destination. Both of the qualities constitute the country’s acquired capital ahead of 2021.

2021 will not be a year of automatic return to normalcy. Recovery will take place, but it will be gradual. It is yet too early for predictions for the next season, but the initial messages we receive are encouraging, mainly as a result of the positive evaluation of the country’s efforts to safeguard the brand of Greece as a destination. Our current performance in the containment of the pandemic will largely determine the characteristics of the 2021 season, also in light of the future performance of our competitors. It is key that we persist to implement and abide by the measures advised by the experts.

GNTO adapts to the new developments, and makes use of every available tool and communication channel to promote Greece as a tourist destination. In that framework, GNTO participates actively in the important international tourism expos, which take place in the digital space as virtual events. GNTO covered the participation costs of approximately 200 businesses, which submitted an electronic application to participate in the popular WTM, ILTM and IBTM expos, thus maintaining the contact with valued source markets for us.

GNTO will participate along with businesses as the main exhibitor on all the aforementioned expos, taking part in workshops and webinars, making the most of the virtual opportunities offered by the new techs.

Meanwhile, we are drafting our strategy for the international campaign of the first quarter of 2021. Operating with flexibility and adaptability is now at the heart of GNTO’s work. We have already launched the promotion of the country for the next 4 months, with the islands at Northeastern Aegean being the focal point of the campaign. We have a lot of work ahead, and undoubtedly many surprises to deal with, but I stay optimistic that we will surpass the difficulties.

Dimitris Fragakis
Secretary General
Greek National Tourism Organization

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