After an admittedly difficult but also “strange” tourist season, the issue of … “and then what?”, concerns many of us. How can our island prepare for the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which may leave “indelible” marks on society, the economy and consequently tourism? This issue was the subject of a study, the conclusions of which were presented at a recent international scientific conference in Hydra (7th International Conference of the International Association of Cultural and Digital Tourism -IACuDiT), on “Culture and Tourism in a Smart, Globalized and Sustainable World”, and will be published on the Springer Proceedings in Business and Economics magazine next month. Those who signed, among others, were the Ambassador of HACC New York, Mr. Kostas Skagias and the Assistant Professor of the University of Thessaly, Dr. Dimitrios Belias.
Due to the current circumstances with the Covid-19 pandemic, the future of global tourism
is evolving with uncertainty. According to recent research as well as data from the World
Tourism Organization, there is a sharp decline in tourist flows internationally, while for some destinations this may mean the loss of an entire tourist season. Although it is too early to draw conclusions, it is estimated that Greece will hardly attract 20% of tourist flows compared to 2019. Already with the first data of the Bank of Greece, in the seven months between January and July, the country is already minus 80.1% in tourist arrivals and 86.2% in revenues.
Respectively, this season Mykonos is facing the dramatic consequences of the pandemic in
tourist arrivals and revenues as well as the risk of causing damage to the profile of the
island. A typical example is the news made around the world about the closure of a well-
known nightclub for parties, due to the violation of the measures against Covid-19. At the
same time, both the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE) and international
studies emphasize the importance of protecting the image and reputation of Greece in the
post-Covid-19 era.
It is clear that the whole tourism concept will have to be adapted to the conditions as well as that the time has come for tourist destinations to redefine their profile. The Covid-19
pandemic provides a prime opportunity for destinations to move from “massiveness” to “sustainability”, aiming towards a more specialized market.
In the tourism industry, after the Covid-19 pandemic, it seems that sustainable tourism may be the answer to how Mykonos will manage to recover from the current crisis. Therefore, the proposed strategy is to move to a sustainable tourism model, where the conditions will be created to attract high educational and income level visitors with environmental sensitivities and respect for local culture. This means that the destination should be based on a development model of “fewer tourists and more income per tourist” , while Mykonos can focus on cultural tourism as part of the transition to sustainable tourism.
At the same time, regarding the reputation of the island in the post-covid era19, taking into
account that it plays a decisive role as a criterion for choosing a destination, special
emphasis should be given to the observance of protection measures and the creation of
conditions where the visitor will feel safe. This not only means that Covid-19 cases are
limited or not – in fact it is expected that all known tourist destinations will experience Covid- 19 cases – but also that the destination has taken the necessary measures to protect the tourist.
If we consider that the future of tourism concerns fewer tourists looking for a sustainable
and safe destination, then Mykonos and its tourism businesses should be adjusted
accordingly. Of course, the “fewer tourists” model does not necessarily mean less income.
Instead, it can attract high-income and well-educated families and tourists.
Therefore, Mykonos and its tourism companies can design a new tourism marketing
proposal that will include:
• Development with emphasis on quality
• Targeting specialized audiences that will respect the natural beauties and culture of the
• Compliance with Covid-19 regulations, such as social distance.
The above are some of the initiatives that Mykonos can adopt, which will help it adapt to the post-Covid-19 era, according to current data. It is important to note, however, that as the Covid-19 pandemic is a current phenomenon, further research and study is needed, as well as an investigation into the trends emerging in the new era.