Greece will Have a Better Tourism Year in 2021, Says Minister

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Greece will welcome visitors who are vaccinated against the coronavirus, have tested negative or recovered from the disease and have antibodies, Greek Tourism Minister Harry Theoharis confirmed on Friday.

Speaking to Reuters, Theoharis underlined that tourists that fall into the aforementioned categories will be welcomed to the country, irrespective of any agreements with other countries.

We will have a better year than last year… This is not obvious now because the bookings are depressed… there’s a lot of gloom, a lot of pessimism in the market, but I’m sure in the end my calculation is going to be correct,” he told the news agency.

The Greek tourism minister’s statements came days after he announced that Greece will open to tourism by May 14 under the slogan “All you want is Greece”.

Underlining that 2020 was the worst year on record for global tourism according to the UNWTO, Theoharis said that only 7.4 million people traveled to Greece last year, down from a record 31.3 million in 2019. The country saw its tourism revenues drop to 4 billion euros from 18 billion in 2019

Moreover, the minister dismissed criticism that tourism increased new Covid-19 infections in Greece last year.

“The second wave which engulfed all of Europe roughly at the end of October, beginning of November, came to Greece at exactly the same time, perhaps even a couple of weeks later,” he told Reuters.