Almost a month after Greece reopened to international tourism, hotels in the country are seeing sluggish demand and are unsure of what will happen in August, according to the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, Alexandros Vassilikos.
In a recent interview to Naftemboriki newspaper, Vassilikos said that the average occupancy rate in Greek hotels for the month of July does not exceed 22 percent.
According to Vassilikos, the percentage has been calculated by a special application created by Greece’s Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) that monitors on a weekly basis the basic performance indicators in a representative sample of 500 hotels.
“This is the picture we have at the moment,” the chamber’s president said, adding that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic turned the lives of billions of people around the world “upside down”.
No forecast for August
Moreover, Vassilikos said that Greek hoteliers find it impossible to make forecasts for their occupancy levels for the month of August.
“No one can – and no one should make the slightest forecast. The epidemiological data is changing day by day and in the end that is what will determine what we will manage to save from this season,” the chamber’s president said.
Referring to this summer as “unprecedented” due to the coronavirus, Vassilikos assured that the vast majority of Greek hoteliers have the will to open their businesses, although the season does not just depend on their will.
“It is not enough to just open a hotel, as the must be able to stay open. And that is an issue that needs to be taken into account when planning additional support measures,” Vassilikos stressed, explaining that a hotel can open, come out of the government’s support framework, operate for a while and then be forced to close.
“There must be provision for the enterprise and its employees so that the opening effort is supported and not discouraged,” he said.