Tag: covid-19

CNN examines Greece’s plans for 2020 tourism season in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

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CNN Travel report on Greece plans for summer travel season

CNN Travel has taken a look at what the summer tourism season might be like in Greece as the country re-opens after its Covid-19 lockdowns

 

Travel comeback?: Millions of people are on tenterhooks this month, wondering what will happen to their plans — and bookings — for summer and autumn vacations in Greece.

Many — including yours truly at mygreecetravelblog.com — have already had our spring holiday hopes dashed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We were supposed to fly to Greece a few days from now but, like hundreds of thousands of people who had booked trips to Greece for April, May and June,  Covid quarantines and travel bans put the kibosh on those plans.  

Millions more people who had scheduled trips for July, August and September are holding out hope that their holidays will still happen, now that Greece has announced a timetable to gradually re-open its economy, and to begin welcoming tourists back starting in July. But it’s still too soon for anyone outside Greece to know for certain if their vacations will in fact materialize, since Greece hasn’t yet determined who will be allowed into the country, or what sorts of tourism activities will be available.

 

 

Indeed, it appears extremely likely that some kind of medical testing will be required to gain entry into Greece (to show that travellers either have developed antibodies to Covid-19, or are not testing positive for the virus), and it also is likely that citizens from only a few select countries might be permitted to visit Greece initially. So while there is some promise that travel will resume in Greece this summer, it’s still a matter of wait-and-see for the all-important details.

What does seem clear, however, is that the Greek holiday experience could be drastically different from what regular visitors have experienced in the past — and what many first-time travellers might have been anticipating this summer, especially with regard to beaches and the legendary Greek nightlife. Because of social distancing requirements, for instance, crowded bars and party clubs could be out of the question for the foreseeable future, while organized beaches will have considerably fewer lounge chairs and umbrellas, with those available being spread 2 meters apart. (One beach bar on Santorini has already installed plexiglass screens between its sunbeds.) For their part, hotels and restaurants will have to adapt to stringent health and safety protocols as well as social distancing requirements.

To find out more, CNN Travel recently sent a team of reporters to Greece. They examined how Greece has handled the Covid-19 pandemic, and interviewed industry and government officials — including Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis — to see what the country’s post-pandemic travel season might look like.  Check out their May 7 2020 report, which consists of an article and a 4-minute video.

Hopefully more concrete information will come available within the next several weeks.

Video spotlights spectacular Greece sights and scenery to send inspiring message: ‘Dreams can’t be quarantined’

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Filmmaker Aris Katsigiannis collected compelling images of Greek people, some of Greece’s most famous sights and attractions, and views of the country’s spectacular natural landscapes, to create this exhilarating video

 

Don’t stop believing: If you’re suffering a severe case of self-isolation blues because your upcoming trip to Greece has been cancelled or indefinitely delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic,  Aris Katsigiannis’s inspiring video Dreams can’t be quarantined should give your spirits a big boost. The 4-and-a-half-minute film presents a dazzling panoply of sights and scenery from all over Greece as it conveys an uplifting message to people around the world: Don’t let these dark days stop you from dreaming.

If it’s dreams of going to Greece that you’ve been forced to put on hold, we strongly suspect the film’s visual delights and inspirational message will give you some joy and remind you that Greece is well worth waiting for, whenever you can finally get there. And we’re all hoping that will be sooner than later.

In notes accompanying the video’s release on YouTube, Katsigiannis says he started work on the project after the Greek government imposed a nationwide lockdown in late March in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. He wanted to create a film that “could share a positive message worldwide, and motivate people globally during these difficult times.”

To send a message of hope in bleak, dark times, Katsigiannis couldn’t have picked a better subject for his film — after all, Greece has long been called “the land of light.” 

Copywriter and narrator Joanna Trafalis acknowledges this in the video’s introductory voiceover, noting “We have learned to see the light in the darkness. We have learned to never stop dreaming. The rough times will pass, so don’t forget your dreams.”

And as Katsigiannis adds in his descriptive notes, “Please remember this: We are all afraid, confused and we are all dealing with this crisis in our own way. But there is one thing that is for sure. Our dreams cannot be quarantined. We are all in this together. Stay positive, united, safe and better days will return.”

How to visit Greece during your Covid-19 home quarantine

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Greecefromhome website screenshot

If you’re stuck at home in Covid-19 quarantine, you can visit and explore Greece through inspirational videos, dreamy photos and informative destination profiles on the new #greecefromhome website

 

Just because you can’t physically travel to Greece right now doesn’t mean you can’t pay it a visit and enjoy a Greek holiday experience in mind and spirit.

Like billions of other people around the world, you probably can’t go far from home — if you’re even able to leave it at all — because of Covid-19 quarantines, lockdowns and self-isolation measures. You definitely can’t go to Greece, because it’s totally off-limits to travellers for the time being. And while it’s far too soon to tell when countries will re-open their borders to visitors, you can still explore and experience Greece — and get ideas and inspiration for a future holiday there — by clicking over to #greecefromhome.

Launched at the beginning of March 2020, #greecefromhome is a multifaceted campaign that aims “to offer people from all over the world meaningful content from Greece during the Covid-19 crisis.” It’s a special initiative developed by the Greek government, its national tourism organisation, and a private sector tourism group that promotes Greece as a travel destination.

“[t]his is where we share our love for Greece – connecting you with Greeks doing amazing things on our YouTube channel and letting you experience the best of Greece right now, on Discovergreece.com. And if you work in tourism or any other sector, as an individual or business, you can learn new digital skills through a series of free courses in partnership with Google,” the #greecefromhome website explains.

To that end, the #greecefromhome web portal provides quick and easy access to a wealth of photos, videos and information about Greek culture, destinations and travel experiences. It includes:

♦ the Visit Greece channel on YouTube, which features videos spotlighting “Greek personalities and creators from around the world,” as well as “Greek-inspired music, mythology, cuisine, arts, crafts, fashion, sport and style” — and, of course, travel destinations and holiday activities and experiences;  

Greecefromhome website link to the Visit Greece YouTube Channel

Screenshot of two videos from the Greecefromhome website

Screenshot of two videos from the Greecefromhome website

Above: screenshots of the #greecefromhome website links to some of the hundreds of videos available for free viewing on the Visit Greece YouTube channel

 

♦ the Discover Greece tourism website, which is packed with inspiring images and information about “archaeological sites and museums, the glorious sea, the mountains and lakes, the villages and traditions, even gastro and walking tours – exploring, sailing, hiking, rafting, tasting, discovering” and other activities to keep you merrily dreaming about — and perhaps even planning — a future holiday in Greece.

 

Screenshot of Discover Greece website experiences homepage

Screenshot 01 of discovery tours on the greecefromhome website

Screenshot 02 of discovery tours on the greecefromhome website

Screenshot 03 of discovery tours on the greecefromhome website

Above: Screenshots showing some of the travel experience profiles available through links on  the #greecefromhome site

 

online training courses, developed by Grow with Google, that will help participants “learn about creating a digital marketing plan, using social media effectively, the art of storytelling,” and more. 

Screenshot of the Greecefromhome website digital skills learning channel

Screenshot of online digital training courses available through the greecefromhome website

Above: Screenshots showing some of the digital training courses available through #greecefromhome

 

While the goal of #greecefromhome is to keep Greece as a top of mind destination for whenever international travel resumes, it offers a great opportunity in the meantime for people to give their minds a break from the pervasive doom and gloom of the coronavirus crisis, and dream about going to one of the most beautiful places in the world. Hopefully, that will soon be possible once again.

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