Greek travel agents and tourist guides are up in arms over a recently announced Covid-19 risk-assessment map which categorizes into four levels the country’s regional units based on degree of risk as indicated by a color-coded system.
The Federation of Hellenic Associations of Tourist & Travel Agencies (fedHATTA) and Efi Kalampoukidou, an accredited tourist guide in Greece and president of the European Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (FEG), are demanding that the government clarify which restrictions apply, arguing that the measures are unreasonable and unfair.
According to Kalampoukidou, under the current measures, no group tours are allowed in Level 3 areas, which include all of Athens. She adds that authorities have failed to clarify number of participants in groups, locations, monuments, and open-air tourist attractions as well as whether smaller private group tours are allowed.
At the same time, FedHATTA also reacted to the decision noting that it considers the “complete prohibition of group tours to be beyond any reasonable severity, since tours are now always conducted with the use of individual audio hearing aids (wireless microphone transmitters and receivers, better known as “whispers”) and distances and all safety measures can be observed”.
Both professional associations underline the need for consistent measures that take into consideration the current situation for both travelers and professionals as well as the need to ensure that visitors who do come to Greece have the chance to visit its monuments.
“Given the limited number of visitors due to the problems caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the overall recession affecting all aspects of tourism, despite many efforts to restart the sector, we strongly protest against this measure and request its immediate review as it wipes out much of what is left of the work of tourist offices,” FedHATTA said in a statement.