“The True Letter to Hosts – An Invitation to Honest Local Partnerships”
First and foremost, I wish you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.
I would like to bring your attention to an issue many local agencies, hospitality professionals, hotel and villa owners and other tourism agencies in Greece have been facing during the past weeks.
As we’re struggling to keep up with budget issues, cash flow, client satisfaction, future planning and the invaluable wellbeing of our team members, we were also called to respond to the one-sided cancellations imposed by large travel companies such as Airbnb and Booking.com, which neglected the Greek status of Force Majeure.
Large travel operators and OTAs decided to proceed to booking cancellations without informing local accommodation, tourism and travel providers resulting in an unprecedented collapse of financial planning and numerous issues with cash flow.
“Forcing colleagues in Greece to proceed to refunds without prior consulting speaks volumes about the lack of context and compassion these companies exhibit when it comes to partnerships. At the same time, they showed an utter lack of interest in establishing a bilateral understanding both before and after the cancellation events.”
We were treated with automatic replies and generic discourse, typical of their unwillingness to really protect entrepreneurs or show solidarity to protect both companies and employees.
Local agencies, on the other hand, have exhibited excellent reflexes when it came to following state and EU recommendations, while protecting their companies as well as their clients.
Following the European Commission suggestions, the majority of colleagues in Greece, as is also the case with BlueVillas, are issuing credit vouchers for clients who wish to modify or reschedule their visit. This allows local hospitality professionals to better plan for the future, accounting for current losses and treating clients with the necessary respect. The Greek law that was passed on April 13th further validates the above practice.
Consulting with partners personally and treating each booking individually, we have managed to protect our tourism product as a country, satisfy our clients and protect each other. This is why local agencies are cornerstone to successful entrepreneurship and future investments.
It’s high time we united to show respect to our partners and clients, building channels of communication and understanding.
Founder & Director,
BlueVillas – The Luxury Concept