The COVID-19 pandemic containment measures in action worldwide have cost Greece in excess of €15 billion euro in tourism revenues. A new report from the National Bank of Greece (NBG) released on Tuesday paints a grim picture for 2020.
According to NBG analysts the total tourist demand to fall by 75 percent for 2020. The report shows international traffic down by 80 percent and domestic by 45 percent, and sector turnover down by a full 12 percent in Q3. Greece hotels’ overnight revenue plummeted to almost zero for Q2, and August-September performance was also off by 60 percent compared to 2019. Hotels that remained open showed a 35 percent drop in overnights over the same months.
On the bright side, the NBG analysts said hotels on the islands appear to be better prepared for the next day as they are in good financial standing, the result of their development over the last 10 years.
The NBG experts made a special note about the inevitable competitiveness to come in 2021, and a desperate need to steer away from the previous “mass tourism” model of the past. According to the report, too much dependence on seasonal tourists and travel agencies outside Greece is a problem brought to the forefront by COVID-19.
NBG suggests the increase in the number of luxury hotels in order to meet the demand and to attract higher-income travelers; ensuring connectivity with the islands; and the top priority, accelerating the upgrade of the port, airport, and marina infrastructure.
The report finished off noting that the pandemic has created a new trend with travelers now seeking destinations where safety is ensured and quality services are offered. Indicatively, 50 percent of tourists from Greece’s source markets said they base their decision to travel on these factors.