By Annick Dournes & Frédéric de Poligny 

 

The Parthenon

The Parthenon

Greece is ready to welcome tourists again and intends to let it be known. Last week at the Aegli, an open-air cinema in Athens, this new promotional campaign was officially launched in the presence of Greece Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotaki as well as Harry Theoharis, Minister for Tourism, Ioanna Dretta, CEO of Marketing Greece, and a vast learned assembly of tourism professionals and journalists. This year “Greek Summer is a state of a mind… enjoy your Greek Summer wherever you are”.

 

Greek Summer is a State of Mind

Greek Summer is a State of Mind

Of course the highlight of the evening was the screening of the campaign film, a short 40 sec video made to inspire the Europeans and encourage them to have inspiring holidays in Greece. Discover this sober yet exciting video on youtube in English

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCfYjUQgvaE&feature=youtu.be

This video was the result of collaboration between the Greek Minister for Tourism and “Marketing Greece”, a private organization gathering most of Greek tourism professionals. You may have already heard about Marketing Greece through its great website “Discover Greece” that offers interesting articles, pictures and videos made to appeal to all kinds of tourists.

 

Amazing Epidaure theatre

Amazing Epidaure theatre

Tourism is a major source of income for Greek economy and badly needs a boost after the Covid-19 lockdown. This new promotional campaign not only aims to bring people back to this sunny destination, it also highlights Greece as a “happiness destination” where one can find peace of mind in idyllic landscapes. In simple words it delivers a message to make us think, desire and dream. The Greek state of mind is synonymous with authenticity and human warmth. Don’t we all need just this after the difficult times we’ve been through?

 

Iconic wrechship on Zakinthos Island

Iconic wreckship on Zakinthos Island

The Greek tourism industry is slowly coming back to life in a country that, thanks to an early lockdown, counts until now only 3.058 confirmed coronavirus cases and 183 deceases. Greece is on of the safest European countries and wants to stay so. Here is what we know today of the reopening measures in Greece:

 

Boat excursion

Boat excursion

From June 15th:

– Only Athens and Thessaloniki airports are allowed to welcome international flights again. Once you’ll enter Greece through one of these two airports you will be able to reach any destination throughout Greece with domestic flights that are all operating.

– All season hotels and resorts are allowed to welcome guests with strict sanitary measures that will ensure a safe stay. There will be social distancing on beaches and swimming pool decks between deck chairs and parasols. So far masks are not mandatory except on board planes, ferries and all public transports.

-Ferries will again travel from island to island but the number of passengers on board will be limited to 60% of their usual maximum capacity (masks will be mandatory).

– If any tourist would have symptoms of the Covid-19 he or she would be transferred and quarantined in a special hotel previously chosen by local health authorities and only dedicated to welcome these suspected cases. This will be organised in each touristic area of Greece.

 

Idyllic holidays

Idyllic holidays

From July 1st

– After having been allowed to reopen their outside terraces to customers all bars and restaurants will be able to work as before the lockdown. Except for parties that are strictly forbidden… even in Mykonos where a bar that organised a party last weekend has been fined 20,000 € and has been closed for two months!

– All Greek airports will be open to international flights but only chosen countries of origin will be accepted. The list will regularly be updated depending on the local sanitary state of each European country. When arriving in Greece a few tourists chosen at random on each flight may be tested for Covid-19.

 

Beautiful stadium of Messenia

Beautiful stadium of Messenia

In the following weeks we will take you to new Greek destinations that will take you out of the beaten tracks and make you discover our Greek secrets.

 

Text © Frederic de Poligny & Annick Dournes

Photos ©Frederic de Poligny