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Greek Hotels Chief: Biggest Challenge 2020 Gap After Thomas Cook’s Demise

Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) President Alexandros Vassilikos

The need for private and public hospitality stakeholders to work together in a coordinated manner to address the imminent consequences of Thomas Cook’s collapse on Greek tourism next year is urgent, said Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) President Alexandros Vassilikos via his Facebook account on Wednesday.

Vassilikos expressed his appreciation to all Greek hoteliers and hospitality stakeholders who made efforts to repatriate stranded travelers after the British tour giant’s collapse on Monday, adding that the true essence of “hospitality is evident at difficult times, and today’s guests are tomorrow’s ambassadors”.

Vassilikos went on to stress that the government should have already approved and implemented the relief measures it announced on Wednesday, and moved ahead with new measures that will attempt to cover the damage.

“These measures are not industry demands, but were proposed to gain time and avoid having to deal with pressure next week when hotels are unable to meet their immediate obligations,” he said.

Thomas Cook's second Casa Cook brand opened in Greece this year in Marmari on Kos.

Thomas Cook’s “Casa Cook” on Kos

Greek tourism has always been able to deal with the collapse of tour operators in the past but the circumstances now are very different exacerbating the situation: first of all, Vassilikos noted, tour operators then were not this sizeable, and secondly, tourism did not account for 25 percent of the country’s GDP.

This said, the HCH in collaboration with the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) is expected in the coming days to release a study on the impact on Greek tourism – in terms of size and quality per region, category and hotel size – of Thomas Cook’s demise and of its subsidiaries in various countries.

Photo Source: Thomas Cook

Photo Source: Thomas Cook

Hotline for Greek hoteliers

Meanwhile, the HCH has opened up a hotline on 213-2169968 and 213-2169969 where Greek hoteliers can get updates, information, and guidance on compensation procedures for customers following the bankruptcies of Thomas Cook UK, Germany, Belgium and Netherlands arms.

Vassilikos concluded that he was in contact with his counterparts in other tourist markets in Europe under HOTREC, the umbrella association of national trade associations representing hotels, restaurants, cafes and similar establishments in Europe, with the goal to take a series of actions on an EU level in order to address similar incidents in the future.

About the Author
Chicago-born and raised, Maria Paravantes has over two decades of journalistic experience covering tourism and travel, gastronomy, arts, music and culture, economy and finance, politics, health and social issues for international press and media. She has worked for Reuters, The Telegraph, Huffington Post, Billboard Magazine, Time Out Athens, the Athens News, Odyssey Magazine and SETimes.com, among others. She has also served as Special Advisor to Greece’s minister of Foreign Affairs, and to the mayor of Athens on international press and media issues. Maria is currently a reporter, content and features writer for GTP Headlines.

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