A group of hardy Dutch vacationers have arrived on the island of Rhodes as part of an experimental visit to determine the feasibility of restarting tourism on the Greek islands amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
After being tested, the 189 guests selected from the 250,000 potential candidates who signed up as willing participants will enjoy an all-inclusive ten-day holiday on Rhodes at the Mitsis Grand Hotel where they will be the only guests at a cost of €399 per person.
Dutch vacationers at all-inclusive resort
The trip was organized by the Dutch travel industry. During their stay, as part of the agreed-upon rules, the vacationers will not be allowed to leave the resort.
The Dutch vacationers to Greece are undertaking this trial in an effort to understand which activities will be safe to resume after Holland has discouraged activities including all foreign travel, except essential journeys, until mid-May because of the coronavirus.
After the trip, the Dutch participants will undergo coronavirus testing upon their departure from Greece and will have to quarantine for up to ten days upon arrival back in Holland to test the efficacy of measures to contain the virus and the implications they have for the resumption of international travel.
Minister of Tourism invites international community to visit Greece
Earlier in March, Greece announced that it is opening its tourist season on May 14 – but only to those who have been vaccinated or have antibodies against the coronavirus or test negative for it.
Upon revealing the new tourist slogan for the Summer of 2021, “All you need is Greece,” Haris Theocharis, Greece’s Tourism Minister, invited the international public to visit Greece this year to forget the “unpleasant memories” of the past year.
Theocharis explained, a pilot opening for the tourism season will be considered, most likely beginning in early April, opening to residents of not only EU nations but also countries that have advanced vaccination programs.
Need for Tourism in Greece
Vacationers to Greece are fundamental because the sector is almost entirely reliant on international tourism with the domestic population too small and still too financially constrained following the country’s 2008 debt crisis to make up for the drop in external visitors, according to the Financial Times.