COVID19: Calls for Cyprus-Greece tourism pact

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Cypriot and Greek tour operators want Cyprus and Greece to be treated as a single tourist market in efforts to buffer the devastating impact of the coronavirus outbreak on their tourism.

The Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) will submit a joint proposal to Nicosia and Athens for Cyprus and Greece to be considered a single area for tourism.

The decision was taken during a teleconference where they confirmed their readiness to create a new tourist pact.

The proposal will include sharing tourists when the conditions allow and provided both countries have successfully tackled the COVID-19 pandemic.

A prerequisite for the successful outcome of the cooperation will be the opening of Cyprus airports which the travel agents are waiting for.

Welcoming the decision, the Cyprus-Greece business association said the exchange of tourists is a very positive step in efforts to handle the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic in the tourism industry.

It said that both countries can cover part of their losses from tourism if they provide generous incentives to their citizens to visit the other country over the summer.

The association suggested joint tourism packages for visiting Cyprus and Greece can be offered in countries with low numbers of coronavirus cases, with health measures that will be valid for tourists.

It is working closely with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the  Greek National Tourism Organisation in Cyprus to implement these initiatives for the benefit of both countries.

To promote closer tourism cooperation a ferry connection between Greece and Cyprus is being revived after it stopped operating in 2000.