Greece will restart its tourism season on June 15 in a key boost to the economy after the virus lockdown, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Wednesday, adding that international flights would resume on July 1.
“The tourism period begins June 15, when seasonal hotels can reopen, and direct international flights to our tourist destinations will gradually begin July 1,” Mitsotakis said in a televised address.
Mitsotakis said the country’s prompt response to the virus would be a “passport of safety, credibility and health” to attract visitors.
“We will win the economy war just as we won the health battle,” Mitsotakis said.
Tourism Minister Harry Theocharis said a list of nations resuming flights to Greece would be announced by the end of May, noting that Athens would focus on reviving a travel front “from the Balkans to the Baltic.”
“Our strength is the certificate of safety, reliability and health that our country has earned. Its great fame. The health shield, hospitality everywhere and, of course, the passion of the Greeks,” said Mitsotakis.
Bulgarians and northern Europeans including Germans will be among the first visitors, the minister said, in addition to Israelis and Cypriots.
Incoming travelers will not be required to undergo virus testing or quarantine, but sample tests will be carried out in tourist areas, the minister said.
According to the tourism ministry, In 2019, Greece received 34 million visitors – of which 24.2 million travelled to the country between April and September. They brought with them a 19 billion euros ($21 billion) of income.