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Greece Begins Welcoming Back Travelers

Greece Begins Welcoming Back Travelers

Greece Phases in Tourism Starting June 15, 2020

June 15th Marks the Beginning of the Summer Tourism Season

More good news on the travel front! In the hopes of revitalizing their economy and their typically robust tourism industry, Greece is welcoming back travelers once again to enjoy the many splendors offered by this magnificent Mediterranean destination.

Seasonal hotels in Greece re-open on June 15, which marks the beginning of the summer tourism period. Travelers will be welcomed back at this time, but direct international flights will not resume until July 1. Hopefully, that is when incoming flights start to pick up, as the July through August period is when Greece typically generates half of its overall tourism revenue and 80% of business profits. Currently, all incoming flights are routed to Athens.

Beaches have been re-opened, as well as over 200 archaeological sites, as reported on May 18. Bars and restaurants are in full operation and will maintain social distancing and reduced capacity guidelines.

Columns structure in Parthenon, Athens Greece; image @rawpixel

Effects of Covid-19 and Greece’s Response

With a population of almost 10.5 million people, the coronavirus has claimed 183 lives as of June 4 – total cases at 3,088, with 1,531 still active (as of June 11, 2020). No cases have been detected on the vast majority of Greek islands, which are popular vacation spots. Therefore, with these relatively low numbers and the proper strategy to keep visitors and citizens safe, Greece is ready to re-open for summer.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in an interview with CNN, said: “We have reached a point where we’ve almost completely suppressed the epidemic, at least in the first stage and we’ll begin to relax. We feel we’ve dodged the first bullet very clearly. I think we did it the right way. Of course, we didn’t get everything completely correct, but if you look at the numbers, you can’t argue with what we have achieved.”

In the pursuit of safeguarding public health going forward, every last detail of the re-opening plan has been thoroughly examined.

View of Oia traditional cave houses in Santorini, Greece; image @rawpixel

Though mandatory quarantine and blanket testing of all arrivals have been eliminated from the health and safety protocols, airports will have contactless thermal temperature screening. Greek authorities will have the right to carry out sample testing when deemed necessary at any time during visitors’ stay. Moreover, in the event of a suspected outbreak at any tourist destination, the operational plan includes special quarantine areas, testing facilities, and designated doctors for each hotel.

Mitsotakis, along with his Tourism Minister, has taken the advice of their team of health experts, and are attempting to strike the right balance – taking the necessary health precautions while at the same time not restricting or limiting tourist activity. After all, people take vacations to have a good time and feel carefree, and the Tourism Minister expressed that he does not want to strip that away from them.

Financial Incentives

Prospective travelers are likely seeking financial incentives before making their final decision to go on their next excursion. To help entice them, Greece has reduced the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 24% to 13% on all transport including flights, boat, rail, and bus travel. Consumer taxes on many other goods and services will are as well.

Professional Airport Concierge Services

Have you always wanted to take a trip to Greece? Or have you been there before and anxious to get back? There are many factors to consider before booking a trip during this summer season; however, if you feel encouraged by Greece’s response to Covid-19, along with the relatively low infection rate, there are positive factors to consider as well.

Consider the possibility of a half-full flight, not to mention the airports free of massive crowds. If you like your vacations to be more relaxing, and a little more private, then vacationing this summer may be right for you. Lower airfares and rates for hotel rooms and other living accommodations and the reduction in local taxes are especially nice as many of us could use the help financially.  Utilizing a private airport concierge service will ease the stress and anxiety and ensure your travel experience is seamless.

Airport agent standing on the tarmac; Photo © Tyler Olson – Dreamstime

Airport Assistance Worldwide offers travelers a safe and easy way to navigate the airports when traveling.  Our friendly and experienced airport representatives will meet you at the airport on arrival, connection, or departure and assist you through all the airport formalities.  Elevate your next travel experience by reserving our services today for your next journey.  We have over 30 years of experience assisting passengers at more than 500 airports around the globe.  Whether you’re traveling to visit your family across the country or just looking to get away from it all, Airport Assistance Worldwide will be ready when you.

The bottom line is that there are many factors to consider when deciding whether you will book that trip now or wait until next year. For those of you who choose the former, we wish you a pleasant and safe journey.

— American travelers should check with Travel.State.Gov for the most up to date travel information. Travelers should also follow the guidelines of their local health services experts and government officials. All visitors should check with local health & safety requirements to learn what type of personal protective equipment is required, where and when it must be used, and other crucial regional information.

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Infographic explaining how to prevent coronavirus during air travel

Prevento #COVID19 during air travel; @rawpixel

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