There is a plan in the making by Israel, Greece, and Cyprus to set up a “Corona Corridor”. This will be a collaborative effort to revive the tourism sector that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The new move is intended to attract tourists who are more comfortable to visit neighboring countries than travelling far. This observation was made by Yariv Levin, Israel’s Tourism Minister.
Harris Theoharis, the Tourism Minister of Greece, expressed delight over the willingness of Israel and Cyprus to join this collaborative effort.
While the plan of these 3 countries is commendable, the implementation will face obstacles like mandatory quarantine for those arriving from abroad. Yet another issue is that Cyprus and Greece are EU member states with borders open for the remaining Schengen Area under normal conditions. Hence, Greece, after Cyprus, is the EU’s most vulnerable nation when it comes to tourism.
The importance of tourism is high in the EU. 10% of its GDP is generated by the tourism industry. For Greece, this percentage goes up to 20-25%. Tourism generates around €145 billion ($157 billion) in Spain. The combined income generated by German hotels and tour operators come to about €240 billion a year, as the EU Commission figures.
The EU Commission has estimated that, in 2020, the travel industry could see a drop in package tour bookings of up to 70%. Cruise companies are expected to face a 90% loss. In these circumstances, a plan like the “Corona Corridor” could be useful to provide an impetus to revive the tourism industry in the EU.
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