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Excellent handling of COVID-19 leads to summertime success in Europe's cities

Countries that managed to successfully contain the coronavirus pandemic have seen their cities become a preferred destination for tourists

  • July 06, 2020 11:30
  • Author Anton Stoyanov
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The Greek capital of Athens has soared to the top when it comes to Europe’s most booked destination cities over the last couple of weeks. With the continent’s general reopening for inter EU travel, citizens have been looking for destinations that are closer to home, rather than travelling far away to more distant lands where they might not feel as safe.

What has further contributed to the rise in popularity of Athens has been the Greek government’s handling of the pandemic, which has widely been regarded as exceptional, timely and effective. The efforts of Greek authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 have been successful and the country was able to implement a slate of measures that puts the health and lives of citizens and visitors first.

Reaping the rewards

According to the study conducted by the World Travel and Tourism Council, alongside ForwardKeys, carried out in the first half of 2020, Athens has soared to the 4th spot in terms of most booked European cities. Compared to the 2019 figures, when Athens didn’t even make it into the top 10, this is a great success for local and national authorities.

The first spot meanwhile was taken by Portugal’s capital of Lisbon where the coronavirus pandemic was also handled exceptionally well – especially when compared to the case of neighbouring Spain, which suffered one of the worst outbreaks on the entire continent.

It would seem that what many experts believed before the reopening is true – one of the main concerns for travellers in the 2020 summer season will be their safety, which in turn will affect their choices of destination. The success of both Portugal and Greece in taking care of their citizens during the height of the crisis and their subsequent gradual and successful reopenings have left a lasting and positive impression to foreigners who are now eager to visit – and in doing so, to help their economies recover from the pandemic.

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