With many unknown factors, Greek tourism is entering the final stages of the opening of the 2021 summer season, which was confirmed on April 13 by the arrival of 189 tourists from the Netherlands to Rhodes, for the “rehearsal” of a group tourist trip to Europe.
The “experiment,” as the Greek and international media call it, is not just for Greece. The Netherlands, like most European countries, has reason to desire a resumption of tourism as a stepping stone to economic revival.
189 Dutch people will definitely not get an “idyllic” holiday on a beautiful Greek island. They will be strictly limited to the luxury hotel, will only entertain themselves on its premises and will only eat there.
They will not go to any archaeological site or other attractions, and they will not be able to eat in any traditional restaurant, since all these places are closed until at least the end of April.
However, the “experiment” provides an opportunity to isolate and solve certain problems, and can also work in Greece’s favor if completed without unpleasant surprises.
Mitsis Grand Hotel Beach, where 189 Dutch guests undergo a “tourist rehearsal”. The picture was taken from a drone. REUTERS / Louise Vradi
How tourists will enter Greece
Foreign guests will come to our country with special conditions in order to practically minimize the chances of mass illness or “out of control” of cases of infection.
In practice, a tourist will have three opportunities to come to Greece:
Be vaccinated and bring with you the so-called “Green digital certificate”, which, according to competent sources in the Ministry of Tourism, will be formed at the European level by about mid-June, that is, the EU countries will come to an agreement on how and to whom it will be provided, and how long it will be valid. bring with you a certificate of antibodies, which will prove that he has already been ill and recovered – so that almost no one will be able to transmit the coronavirus. pass a molecular test 72 hours before the trip and get a negative result.
At the same time, spot checks will be carried out systematically at all entrances to the country (airports, ports and border stations) based on the EVA model, which produced significant results in the summer of 2020, identifying many cases of infected foreign or Greek travelers.
In addition, it remains to be determined where the tourists will be accommodated, who will later fall ill while in our country, since this is always possible.
However, with the combination of measures described above, the Ministry of Tourism is moderately optimistic about the successful opening in mid-May.
Dutch tourists have just arrived at Rhodes airport for a “rehearsal”. April 12, 2021. REUTERS / Louise Vradi
Big bet on May 14
The final date for the opening of Greek tourism was set, as you know, on Friday May 14th. According to competent government officials, this “appointment” will be very difficult to reschedule.
The reasons are specific:
Hotel complexes, like all large infrastructure facilities, need time to prepare before receiving guests. This cannot be done in a few days. Hotel or cruise ship personnel are not easy to assemble for at least 24 hours. They often work long distances, and it is necessary to have clear planning, to be notified many days before rushing to work. The risk of Greece opening up in a hurry isn’t worth it. This will complicate the country’s position in the international tourism market and give advantages to competitors who find opportunities for defamation. For tourists to come in large quantities, air travel is necessary, which depends not only on Greece, but also on the international situation. That is, if the Americans and Europeans do not open up, it is naive to expect an increase in arrivals to our country. …