Analysts see tourism rebound

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Economists appear optimistic that Greek tourism will make a significant comeback this summer. They estimate that Greece and its economy will return to the focus once enough people have been vaccinated to allow for a dynamic return of economic activity and the service sector across Europe.

Production, broad availability and acceptance of the coronavirus vaccines will constitute the game changers for tourism and travel, they note, thereby switching Greece’s major disadvantage of 2020 into a strong advantage for 2021 and the years to come.

According to New York-based investment company Jefferies, the countries mostly dependent on tourism will benefit the most from the vaccine-triggered rebound in 2021, as an ever increasing section of the population is immunized. Greece is in fourth place among the countries that stand out in this respect, after Macao, the Philippines and Thailand, as tourism and travel account for more than 20% of the national economy.

Jefferies adds that these very countries have seen their bank stocks underperform on their local bourses in comparison with other domestic stocks, so it projects that local lenders will stage a major rebound as the vaccinations proceed.

Capital Economics estimates that Greece will see tourism bounce back this summer thanks to the Covid jabs. Its economist Melanie Debono tells Kathimerini that although the vaccination process in Europe is proceeding slowly and the main risk for the Greek economy is delays in the pandemic’s containment, the baseline scenario of Capital Economics provides for an acceleration in the process so that governments can start lifting restrictions once the vulnerable groups have been inoculated. That will probably happen by April in most countries, so that most restrictions that effect the economy will have been lifted by June, estimates Debono.

As the vaccine increases the prospects of a return to normality, not only in Greece but also across its main tourism markets, this will be the game changer for air travel, adds the Capital Economics analyst. She estimates that the pandemic will have been mostly reined in by mid-2021, and Greece will stage a 4.5% economic rebound this year.

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