British specialized tour operators prepare for the resumption of tourism in Greece
On 6 July 2020, a meeting was held via video conference with twelve independent British specialized tour operators, the Minister of Tourism Haris Theocharis, President of FedHATTA Lysandros Tsilidis, President of HATTA Nicholas Kelaiditis, HATTA & ECTAA Treasurer Marios Kammenos and Irini Anastasiadou from the Minister of Tourism.
The Minister informed the participants about the intensive preparation of our country –mainly in the field of health protection – for the resumption of flights with the United Kingdom on July 15, during which any minor problems that have been identified in the relevant procedures will be corrected. The Minister also outlined the immediate restart of the campaign for the promotion of Greece, as a travel destination, abroad, with two goals: to extend this year’s tourism season, but also the start of the relevant campaign for next year immediately after, so that to reduce as much as possible the losses for both foreign tourism professionals and for the country itself.
The participating British specialists underlined the importance of their work for Greek tourism, and especially for the lesser-known destinations in which some of them specialize and to a significant extent keep active by bringing visitors year after year.
They called for greater recognition of their contribution to Greek tourism, and asked for greater facilitation from the Greek State. Specifically, they asked for the Minister’s assistance for problems faced by airlines serving regional destinations, which have hampered – at this time –their specific programs.
They asked for clarifications on the health and travel protocols applied by our country, on what will apply in specific cases that may occur, on the procedures when a traveler is positive for Covid-19 and on the co-op advertising plan of the Ministry, in which they wish to be included.
They stressed the need for consistency and stability in terms of protocols and timely information to travelers about procedures due to Covid-19, as customer confidence is critical to booking reservations. Many losses resulted from the fact that the United Kingdom was in the second group for the resumption of flights, after the complete interruption due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is noted that these specialized tour operators stimulate the small local communities of our country throughout the year, since their clientele includes the British middle and upper class, targeting the age groups from 35 to 64 years. The average price of the tourist package they have in the market exceeds 1,200 euros per person and they specialize in tourism sectors that our country is trying to develop, such as yachting, accommodation in villas, the operation of clubs with water sports activities, as well as the organization of tours on gastronomy, walking tourism and other special forms of tourism.
The president of FEDHATTA Lysandros Tsilidis expressed his satisfaction with the efforts to solve the practical problems and the stimulation of tourism and states that the Federation will continue to be a bridge between the state and foreign tourism professionals.
The participating British specialists were:
David Hopkins (Mark Warner) Andrew Parry (Neilson) Chris Wright (Sunvil) Dimitri Patrikios (Ionian Island Holidays) Francis Burnet Coutts. Barrie Neilson (Sailing Holidays) Michael Everett (Ocean Elements) Dave Woollcott, Gary Horsford (James Villas) Tristan Symondson (CV Travel) Nick Harvey (Planos Holidays) John Howell, Simon Morgan (Wildwind) Graham Simpson, Graham Horner (Simpsons Travel) Chris Lorenzo (Seafearer Sailing Holidays).