Letter from the Association of Hoteliers of Pieria to the Greek Government regarding the need to work all the land borders of the country with the necessary staff and the necessary equipment.
“We all know that our country is facing a strong phenomenon called covid, and that the protection of human lives and society as a whole should come first. Also, until a final agreement is reached on a common European travel policy, we would like to assure you that we all agree in advance with any kind of control required by the authorities of our country, concerning the entry of foreign tourists, health passport based on vaccination, negative molecular test (PCR) not older than 72 hours, rapid test, Passenger Location Form (PLF) etc.).

However, what worries us - for the second year in a row - and what is difficult for us to understand is the discriminated management of our country’s land border crossings. So, while all visitors to our country are required to perform a negative molecular test (PCR) not older than 72 hours, by any means to come (by land or air), exclusively and only by those who come by land, an additional negative rapid test is required. on the spot as opposed to those arriving by air who are only required to complete a PLF form. In addition, practically the only possible entry of tourists by land is exclusively Promahonas. All of the above, having in mind the beginning of the tourist season on May 14, 2021. as already announced by the Minister of Tourism Mr. Theocharis, leads to delays and difficulties for tourists coming by road, and essentially and indirectly ‘encourages’ the use of air transport to enter - essentially the same tourists - in our country, with obvious catastrophic consequences for tourism companies as much as in Pieria (Olympic region) so much and generally in other parts of northern and continental Greece.

It should be emphasized that based on the INSETA research “Road Tourism in Greece 2012-2019”, the contribution of road tourism to inbound tourism in 2019 reached 9.6 million entries, 38.2 million overnight stays and 1.8 billion income, which represents 30.6% total entries, 16.4% of overnight stays and 10.1% of income. Road tourism, then, makes up a significant part of Greece’s inbound tourism, especially for northern Greece (Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus). According to the data on the transit of road tourism at the main border crossings from 2017 to 2019, the first three crossings with the largest volume of traffic are constantly Promahonas, Evzoni and Nymphaeum.

All of the above indicates that in 2021, not only Promahonas, but also our other land borders, and especially Evzoni, should be opened and health protocols agreed upon in time, and that there should be a sufficient number of suitably trained staff and the necessary equipment to carry out controls. . The legislative framework for travel at the national level should be formalized directly and without regressions, as well as without discrimination of road tourism, which from 2020 until today is the second and unfavorable speed of Greek tourism.

Taking into account all the above, we hope for your help and cooperation for the benefit of our region. “