The association of tourist businesses (Stek) said on Monday strict checks and vaccinations were the only ways to improve the island’s epidemiological condition and its position against other destinations.
In a written statement, Stek said recent developments emphatically showed that the course of the tourism industry was directly and fully linked to the country’s epidemiological condition.
The rapid worsening of the epidemiological indicators and rising hospitalisations have now added to the prevailing climate of uncertainty, making authorities’ efforts to attract tourists very difficult “especially in other competing destinations in the Mediterranean where the epidemiological data appear much better.”
The effects are now visible through the cancellation of reservations and the concern expressed by big tour operators.
According to Stek, between January and May 2021, arrivals reached 156,825, a 36.4 per cent reduction compared with the same period last year. Compared with 2019, the reduction is 86 per cent.
The first seven months of the year are considered lost for tourism, Stek said, with hotels and other connected businesses needing additional support to survive since they have suffered heavy losses for the second year running.
Considering that a fresh lockdown will be catastrophic for the economy, Stek urged people to vaccinate since it is the only weapon that could contain the spread of the virus.
Authorities must also ensure that health and safety measures are fully implemented, especially in busy venues where infection clusters seem to start.