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Tourism during the Covid-19: Five suggestions for a sustainable and resilient tourism sector in the coronavirus era

Five worthwhile suggestions for a sustainable, durable and inclusive tourism model submitted by the Minister of Tourism Mr.. Haris Theocharis, participating in a teleconference of the International Energy Forum (IEF), on the impact of COVID-19 on the energy market, in international aviation and tourism………

"The pandemic revealed an opportunity for different and more authentic experiences. We must all think about the future of tourism and the sensitive links between tourism and the environment. We must turn the crisis into an opportunity: with work for a more sustainable, inclusive and durable tourism model ", claimed the Greek minister during his statement.

Analyzing the five axes of propositions, stressed that it is needed:

1) Common strategy without horizontal constraints. "As countries manage to curb the virus, general restrictions on free movement to and from other regions or states – members with a similar epidemiological profile, should be replaced by more targeted measures, as a complement to physical distance, effective detection and control of any suspicious cases ".

2) Stimulating demand. "Domestic and EU tourism will dominate in the near future. 267 millions of Europeans (62% of the population) make at least one private leisure trip per year and 78% Europeans spend their holidays in their country of origin or in another EU country. Greece successfully introduces "Tourism for All" program, with a budget of approx 100 million, to support domestic tourism ".

3) The vaccine. "Investing in research", pointed out the Greek minister, "You build relationships and support timely access to a vaccine.

4) Industry support. "Development of comprehensive recovery strategies for areas affected by the crisis. Such strategies should, at first stage, to support tourism businesses and related services ".

5) The strategic adjustment. "These actions should be linked to local, regional and national measures to put the tourism ecosystem on a stable footing ", said the minister characteristically.

Speaking of the results of the first months of the pandemic, Mr.. Theocharis said that "the sharp and sudden drop in arrivals endangered millions of jobs and businesses. According to the World Tourism Organization, the huge drop in international travel demand in January – June 2020 translates to loss 440 millions of international arrivals and about 460 billion US dollars from revenues from international tourism.

The return to its levels 2019, in terms of tourist arrivals, will last from 2½ to 4 years.

In the teleconference of the International Energy Forum, which is an intergovernmental, International non-profit organization aimed at strengthening the common energy interests among its members and whose biennial ministerial meetings are the largest gathering of energy ministers in the world, The Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization, Mr.. Zurab Pololikashvili, the President of Delta Airlines International Mr.. Steve Sear, Ann Louise Hittle, Vice President of the Wood Mackenzie Oil and Gas Exploration Company, and Joanne Shore, President of Downstream Petroleum Markets, LLC.

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