With the hope and expectation that 2022 will prove to be the year when the pandemic will enter a final recession, the general secretary of EOT, Dimitris Fraggakis, conveys to APE-MPE the challenges of the new tourist year. For the third consecutive year that the pandemic continues to affect the whole world with the new variants and is the biggest crisis in the history of Greek tourism, according to Mr. Fraggakis.
In this light, industry players note in the APE-MPE the factors that will shape the tourism developments of 2022. And this year, as they emphasize, the health safety factor will play a leading role in the way prospective travelers will choose their holidays.
D. Fraggakis: Since everything is going well in the field of the pandemic, the goal is to start the season as early as possible
2022 will be the beginning and not the end of a long and arduous effort, says the Secretary General of EOT and emphasizes that the crisis is already acting as an accelerator of developments in the direction of intervention in the pathogenesis of tourism. For Mr. Fraggakis, three are the main challenges of the next day in Greek tourism.
The first priority is the protection of natural resources and the environment, elements inextricably linked to the tourism product and a comparative advantage for decades, as he states and adds that sustainability will be at the core of tourism policy and a national goal by 2030.
The second priority is the strengthening of infrastructure in tourist destinations, with Mr. Fraggakis talking about the need to emphasize public road, port and other infrastructure but also private, especially in the areas of hospitality and transport. The main goal remains the energy upgrade of accommodation and the strengthening of the green transport fleet.
The third priority should be the strengthening of the human resources employed in tourism, Mr. Fraggakis emphasizes. “Strengthening tourism education, motivating new employees in the industry, dealing with seasonality are some of our key tools in strengthening human resources,” he notes.
Referring to the goals of the new tourist season, the general secretary of EOT explains that since everything is going well in the field of the pandemic, the goal is to start the season as early as possible and there is already interest from important players for something like that, he says.
At the same time, the goal of the political leadership of tourism, includes increase of revenues in 2021, extension of the tourist season, but also maintenance of important characteristics of tourism, which appeared in 2021, such as high travel costs, increase of individual travelers (individuals) and the emergence of new destinations.
POX President: The good health situation of Greece in the coming months will unlock the tourist flows of 2022- Emphasis on vaccinations
For his part, the president of the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation, Grigoris Tassios, in his intervention in APE-MPE talks about 2 factors that will largely shape the course of arrivals in 2022 in Greek destinations.
Mr. Tassios primarily focuses on the health image of Greece in the next 3-4 months, in relation to the competitive tourist destinations. In fact, he considers it very critical that vaccinations in Greece move even higher than the European average. This will be, as he explains, a tourist health passport, with all that this implies for the tourist flows to Greece.
This year, after all, the health security of tourist destinations will play a catalytic role in the choices of visitors. At this point, Mr. Tassios considers that it is positive that the tourist season in Greece opens in April, hoping of course that everything will have gone smoothly on the front of the pandemic by then.
At the same time, the president of POX estimates that Turkey this year, armed with low prices, will attract significant shares of tourists, being a strong opponent for Greek tourism, emphasizing the following: “Turkey in 4 and 5 star hotels this year will have incredibly low prices. The visitor of the mass tourism model will go on vacation, at prices he would never have believed “.
“Omicron” brought cancellations in hotels – Gloomy in the first quarter of the year
Giving the stigma of the hospitality industry in the middle of the pandemic, Mr. Tassios emphasizes that the “omicron” variant brought cancellations at the most difficult time for hotels. As he said, the first quarter of 2022 will be very difficult for the hotels of continuous operation, since trade fairs have been canceled and especially the urban type hotels have no reservations, only cancellations.