Greek hoteliers are urging the government to introduce liquidity measures so that they can continue running their businesses despite the sharp decline in arrivals due to Covid-19.
The country re-opened to tourists on Wednesday, with one in two hotels across Greece remaining closed. Hoteliers operating their facilities are counting on last-minute bookings particular this month and in August to see them through the year.
Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios said he expects average capacity countrywide to reach 20 percent, underlining the importance of securing liquidity.
“These difficult times require calm and patience. We are in the final stages of re-opening our businesses. We are in a race and the sooner we ensure the necessary liquidity, the more hotels will be able to open in July,” said Tasios speaking on Alpha television.
He went on to add that POX welcomed the decision by Labor Minister Yiannis Vroutsis to accelerate the payment process for hotels hosting state-supported social tourism participants, describing it as a “positive development”.
Representing the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH), its vice president, Christina Tetradi also estimated that Greek hotel capacity would not exceed 30 percent this year in the best case scenario. Speaking to public broadcaster ERT on Wednesday, Tetradi said that developments with regard to the UK market would shape the outcome.
She underlined that Britain is a leading source market for Greece, particularly for the Ionian islands, and that liquidity was required to get hotels to open. According to tourism stakeholders, Greece is currently opening to tourism with half of its hotels operating. Indicatively, the UK accounts for 70 percent of all tourists to the island of Zakynthos, she said.
“We are in no way talking about making a profit, we are talking about survival,” Tetradi said referring to the need for liquidity measures.
Meanwhile, according to travel solutions provider Sojern, Greece continues to garner among the highest rates for travel intent and flight searches in Europe.