Opening its doors to more than six million tourists since the beginning of the year was the biggest achievement for Greece since the country managed to welcome one of the highest numbers of tourists compared to the majority of European countries.
Given this fact, the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has praised the Greek government for its performance and safe reopening of tourism this year, TheSchengen.com reports.
According to WTTC Director of Communications, Elena Corina Rodriguez, Greece has created a safe travel environment for visitors. It also indicated that the country reached about 86 percent of the arrivals to the country during the pre-pandemic times.
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It was one of the first countries to announce that it would receive visitors who were fully vaccinated or could show negative PCR through state gates. She told the Greek news agency “ANA” that Greece is the country that has encouraged the safe arrival of travelers as a result of the country’s general preparations.
Representative Rodriguez also mentioned that Greece has become among the most popular destinations in the European Union, with the Germans and the British making up most of the tourists. As she stated, the travel and tourism sector contributed 20.8 percent to the country’s GDP and created more than a fifth of all jobs.
As reported by TheSchengen.com, Greece has seen a sharp rise in tourist numbers this season, which is expected to generate around 12 billion euros by the end of the year. In an interview, the Greek Minister of Tourism, Vassilis Kikilia, noted that an increase in tourism was also observed among American travelers. However, Kikilea also said the government has consistently had to refuse to impose stricter entry requirements on Americans, despite the European Union advised otherwise.
However, this is not the first time that travel organizations have praised Greece, as the latter was previously hailed as a “tourism champion” for handling reopening and tourism with extreme caution.
“In fact, in July, for the first time, our country overtook France itself as the preferred destination for the French. That is, the French traveled to Greece more than they did to their own country. This is a very important development,” said the Greek Minister of Tourism, Haris Theocharis.
Moreover, he noted that domestic tourism has also increased, provided that the government has opened its “Tourism for All” program, which will be valid until December 31. According to this program, all Greeks will be able to take a vacation in the country, as data shows that the majority of Greeks do not take regular vacations.
Another advantage that Greece has used this year is the fact that the authorities have recognized the largest number of vaccines worldwide, which facilitates the experience of travelers and allows them to visit Greece more easily.