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Greece is heading for a 'brilliant year' after losing billions during the pandemic

Greece is heading for a "brilliant year" after losing billions during the pandemic.

The capital city of Athens was once a for British holidaymakers but saw tourist revenues dropping from €18.2bn in 2019 to €4bn in 2020 due to coronavirus and lockdowns, with Sani/Ikos resorts boss Andreas Andreadis claiming that everything looks "positive" despite the ongoing war in Ukraine.

He said: "All omens look positive. For a few weeks after the start of the war in Ukraine demand dropped but since the end of March it has picked up and is now excellent. And the truth is there are not so many options with quality destinations."

It comes just a week after it was announced that pandemic restrictions - including the need to test and disclose COVID vaccination status upon entry - would be lifted from 1st May and local businessowner Vassilis Stathokostopoulos claimed that if the recent boom in tourism continues, it will be a "brilliant year" for the country.

He told The Guardian newspaper: "If it goes on like this we’ll be talking about a brilliant year. Perhaps it’s our new chef but people are not only coming, it’s clear that after everything we’ve all been through, they want to have a good time. And for that they’re willing to dig deep into their pockets."

The Greek tourism minister Vassilis Kikilias also explained that the boost had been helped by the fact that the tourism season in Greece started in March - as opposed to later on in the year - although he may not have been so optimistic " a few weeks ago."

He said: "The season has begun earlier than ever before! It’s a vote o. f confidence in our country. A few weeks ago I might not have been so optimistic. All the data points to last-minute bookings in our hotels which while costs are rising also have some of the lowest price rates in Europe. People aren’t sure of anything any more. They wait until the last minute, and, in the last minute, anything can change."

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