All signs point to this tourism season seeing a battle between Greece and Spain to attract the relatively few tourists who do decide to travel.
After German tour operators announced the start of holiday package sales for Greece and Spain last week, their British peers announced that they too will begin selling such packages for the two countries with departures beginning July 11.
However, the British tour operators, including the British arm of TUI, clarify the packages do not concern mainland Spain, which has a poor record in tackling the coronavirus, but only the Balearics and the Canary Islands – while giving the all-clear for the whole of Greece.
Of course, British travel agents say there are certain conditions that must be met for tourism from the country to begin on July 11. Destination countries must agree to accept British visitors without subjecting them to a period of quarantine; likewise Britain must allow such travelers to return from their holidays without being placed in quarantine.
In one of the most promising signs that holidays in the Mediterranean could become a reality for British tourists as well this summer is the fact that TUI, the largest tour operator, announced that it will be servicing eight overseas destinations from July 11. Specifically, flights are set to depart from Gatwick, Manchester and Birmingham airports to Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Corfu, the Canary Islands and the Balearics.
The commercial and business development director of TUI UK and Ireland, Richard Sofer said he was optimistic that, by that date, the UK will have lifted the current requirement that all travelers arriving in the UK be quarantined for a 14-day period.
This article was first published in Greek at kathimerini.gr