Tourism: Revenue collapsed – The need for a new strategy for 2021

Greece is looking for new tools to formulate flexible policies in tourism, after the collapse of the revenues of the traditional heavy industry in the last eight months of the year, due to the outbreak of the pandemic. The need for a new policy for tourism in uncertainty, At a time when the number of cases is skyrocketing not only in our country but throughout Europe, which every year is a constant source of fuel for Greece’s strategic economic advantage, it is imperative. This fact seems to be recognized by both the government that carries out policy, as well as actors in the industry. The resumption of tourism last May and the way things turned out until August did not live up to expectations. But because tourism in our country has a decisive contribution to the economy, as it represents about 25 billion euros, with a total contribution of more than 30% of Greek GDP, the change of course becomes imperative. With 60% of hotels Much more now, that in a prolonged period where public revenues are shaken by the successive collapse of traditional pillars of the economy due to the pandemic, with trade first, the state piggy bank from tourism seems to be limping. Operating this year only 60% of the country’s hotels, ie 6,027 units, tourist revenue is a question if they exceed 2.8 billion euros this year. The collapse of revenues causes chain shocks in society and in particular in the Health system from which it removes another coating from its shield of protection at a time when the big issue is its constant upgrading. Some data on how tourism was affected this year by The collapse of the policy. The Institute of Tourism Research and Forecasts showed that the Greek tourism collapsed due to the health crisis and remained closed. at the moment in the hotel industry, but also in the difficult months to come, is that 717 of the 2,328 hotels that opened after the lockdown (out of a total of 3,965), will close again in 2020. Also, the ITEP research shows that the average percentage occupancy with reduction to the total hotel of the country for the months of July, August and September, amounted to 23.1%, and the average price for the same period reached 86 euros! Revenue less than 2.8 billion? Professor George Petrakos, General Manager of ITEP , has expressed his skepticism about whether the tourism receipts of 2020, will amount to 20% of the 18.2 billion euros of 2019. For his part, the president of the Hotel Chamber of Greece (XEE) Alexandros Vasilikos, said meaningfully that in terms of tourism revenues, it will be even lower than the initial estimate of ITEP, which was talking about 2.8 billion euros. However, looking at the fragments of economic data as they were collected from a country that the coronavirus never left, one finds some surprises that deserve attention. The BoG notes in its data for the travel balance of August that the average per capita expenditure increased by 27.6%, while all other figures collapsed, as well as the fact that the British proved to be more gallant than the Germans, although less. Deep in the pocket of the British In August 2020, travel receipts from Britain amounted to 320 million and exceeded those from Germany, which was 308 million euros, while those from France amounted to 170 million. Arrivals and receipts collapsed in both January-August and August. Travel receipts in the eight months amounted to 2,684 million euros, showing a decrease of 79.7% compared to the corresponding period of 2019 which was 13,220.9 million euros. In the eight months of January-August 2020 the incoming travel traffic decreased by 78.0% and amounted to 4.813 million travelers, compared to 21.842 million travelers in the corresponding period of 2019. Respectively in August revenues decreased by 66.5% compared to corresponding to the month of 2019 at 373 million, compared to 4.104 billion in the corresponding month of 2019, while the incoming travel traffic in August 2020 amounted to 1.807 million travelers, reduced by 73.3% compared to the corresponding month of 2019 which Who came to Greece and what did they spend? According to the BoG, a decrease of 5.7% was recorded in the 8 months of 2020 and the average cost per trip, to 557.2 euros, however in August the average cost per trip increased by 27.6%, to 759.9 euros, from 595.5 euros last year in the same month. More specifically, according to the BoG, in the period January-August 2020 the reduction of travel receipts by 79.7% compared to the corresponding period of 2019 owes the decline in receipts from residents of EU-27 countries by 75.5%, which amounted to 1,749 million, as well as receipts from residents of non-EU-27 countries by 83.8 %, which amounted to 932 million. Travelers from the euro area. Receipts from residents of euro area countries amounted to 1.410 billion, down 75.1%, while receipts from residents of EU countries – 27 outside the euro area fell by 77.2% to 339 million euros. In particular, receipts from Germany decreased by 73.9% to 530 million, while receipts from France decreased by 71.9% to 233 million. From non-EU-27 countries, Receipts from the United Kingdom fell 77.7% to 427 million, while receipts from the US fell 91.5% to 69 million. Receipts from Russia fell 96.4% to at 11 million Proposals for a new policy The anxiety of businesses in the tourism sector is evident. The president of KEE and EVEA, Konstantinos Michalos, observes that “Businesses in the tourism sector as a whole are today called to face another crisis that is testing the limits of their viability. The strict measures taken by the Greek government, which are completely successful in the field of public health as a strategy to limit the spread of the new pandemic, contribute to the vertical decline in demand. Businesses in the tourism industry and in particular hotels can not operate without customers and customers can not come without open airports and without flights. And proposes, among other things: Subsidy of all insurance contributions for the permanent staff of hotel businesses until 30.06.2021.Subsidy by 30% of the basic salary and by 50% of the excess salary in addition to the basic salary of the employees until June 2021 for the tourism companies that will retain the staff that were employed in 03 / 2020.Expansion of the interest subsidy of loans of tourism companies until 31/12/2021. Suspension of payment of arrears of existing updated loans until 31/07/2022 with a parallel extension of the time from payment of the capital by 3 years. Extension of the obligatory measure of the reduction of rents by 40% until 30.06.2021. Subsidy of at least 80% of the rents as they are formed after the application of the measure of the obligatory reduction by 40%. Suspension of checks to be paid until 31.12.2020. The example in the South Aegean Some may forget that nothing is the same as yesterday, observes Giorgos Hatzimarkos, who is the governor of the South Aegean, while speaking to Naftemporiki. What happened in these islands last summer and what can change in the future? He says, among other things, that with our initiatives such as the sanitary protection of the health structures of our islands, the Covid hotels that we proposed and adopted by the government for virus-positive visitors, with sampling molecular checks, with checks for compliance with health protocols in our areas of responsibility, with a targeted digital tourism campaign in 12 countries, the most modern designed in our country, we managed to keep the economy afloat of our islands. “We are no longer compared to previous years. We are compared to international reflexes and designs. I believe that we now have the experience to move forward. We have proved it in practice. The management of the crisis so far by the government and the state mechanism, but also by the attitude of the citizens, only makes me proud and optimistic about the future. The way we operated as a country, but also as a Region, is also our passport for a more optimistic future “. In a state of emergency Grigoris Tassios is the president of the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation and his proposal is to get out of his logic seeing and doing. Today tourism is in a state of emergency. The ideal and demanded is a new tourism development plan, based on the comparative advantages of the country and adapted to the goals set by the European Recovery Fund. The resources from the European Recovery Fund together with the NSRF funds reach 72 billion. It is a large Greek success, it is a big package of money and I am sure that the government also feels the responsibility to properly plan the development dynamics of the country. Investing in tourism means investing in a common hopeful future, with benefits for all, he observes. Finally, the logics of “we see and do” give, we need to join forces. Government, self-government of both levels, actors of tourism and the productive forces of the country, local communities. With a new trust among all involved and a clear vision for the Greek tourism of the 21st century. “We must all work together to win the bet of Greek tourism which is a national bet, with special weight for the perspective of the country and each region separately. Greek tourism to endure and to be able to participate from a position of power in the recovery of the global tourism market. Tourism means development for everyone and all over Greece. Only tourism can guarantee this, because only he has proven it in practice. ”Follow it on Google News and be the first to know all the news

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