Tourism Development Minister Fanni-Palli Petralia recently shut down 41 small and medium-sized hotels for failure to obtain fire safety certificates. Ms. Petralia, who has continuously expressed her desire to “protect the reputation of Greek tourism” took this decision and remains firm on the ministry’s aim to “clean up the landscape in the hotel sector because hotels are the backbone of Greek tourism.”
These hotels, found in the Ionian, Crete and the Cyclades, have been given, as the law states, 20 days to evacuate their hotel guests.
Ms. Petralia referred to this as a difficult decision but a necessary one. She explained that the hotels were given six months to either renew or update their fire safety certificates.
In total there were 5,180 inspections out of which 292 hotels were given an initial warning. With reference to this Ms. Petralia said: “It must be noted that the hotels which will be shut make up a small percentage of the total number of hotels in Greece and this is a positive point.”
The minister stressed that this was only the beginning as a new wave of inspections is about to commence that will include rooms to let. The aim is to achieve an online connection of all regional services with central administration.
Separately and on a more positive note, the Hellenic Tourism Organization stand was honored at the recent International NBC/Travel Expo at the Convention Center in Los Angeles. Greece’s participation in the exhibition proved invaluable for the promotion of Greece as a tourism destination.
During the exhibition an educational seminar was conducted for tour operators to promote Greece as a destination. There was live coverage of the seminar and the whole Greek participation in the two-day event through the American television network NBC.