Monday, August 02 2021
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Blueprint prepared for tourism

The Prime Minister’s Office is almost ready to announce its integrated package for the revival of tourism which has been put together with the cooperation of the sector’s association and other competent ministers, as well as the health authorities.

On Friday Premier Kyriakos Mitsotakis led another video conference on the issue with participants including the ministers of tourism, Haris Theocharis, and state, Giorgos Gerapetritis, and the Health Ministry’s representative on Covid-19, Sotiris Tsiodras.

The plan, according to the latest information available, is built on four pillars. The first concerns the health issue and the rules of operation for the sector regarding both hotels and the markets from which the country may allow visitors when this is deemed safe. The second pillar has to do with supporting employment, the third concerns the measures for economically supporting a smooth tourism reboot, and the fourth covers compensating action: This is the entire set of actions that will offset as much as possible the losses that tourism enterprises have suffered as a result of the government’s decision to put tourism on ice.

For its part, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) has set four priorities in the blueprint submitted to the state, in compliance with what health authorities dictate. They are the subsidizing of employment, the clarity and safety of health regulations (as long as they are operative), the reduction of value-added tax and the total waiving of the income tax deposit for this year.

Another issue which has yet to be settled is that of bilateral agreements. Although all parties involved speak of the need for a single set of rules, regarding international travel and and the operation of businesses, in fact more and more people are worrying about how this could be rapidly achieved so that the whole of this year is not lost and 2021 is not undermined. The complexity of the problem combined with the disagreements in every country, often between health and political authorities, point to the unlikelihood of a common position being formed before this fall. Therefore more voices are speaking of the need for bilateral agreements setting the rules for a country to admit another country’s citizens.