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Gloomy Outlook Ahead for Greek Hoteliers

Setting priorities and implementing immediate relief measures for tourism enterprises hit by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic are crucial if Greece wants to be ready for 2021.

“The year is over, we are now fighting for 2021,” said Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) President Grigoris Tasios who echoed Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) President Yiannis Retsos’ concerns.

Tasios said he expects the sector will need four years to cover lost ground, with most professionals struggling to survive in 2021, he said.

Representing Greek hoteliers, Tasios forecast 15 billion euros in losses compared to 18 billion euros in revenue recorded last year, which he said cannot possibly be recovered in the next two years.

“Average six-month occupancy in the whole country did not exceed 35 percent with half of the hotels closed, while last winter, the average six-month occupancy level ranged between 50 and 60 percent in total,” he said, adding that hoteliers cannot expect income this coming winter.

Backing SETE’s call for extra support, Tasios too said it was vital that flexibility for payments and contributions as well as employee support measures are crucial to the survival of the sector’s professionals.

POX President Grigoris Tasios.

POX President Grigoris Tasios.

According to Tasios, who also heads the Halkidiki Hotel Association, of the 540 hotels in the region, 380 opened and he expects half of those to close by September 10.

Tasios went on to add that the announcement of tighter measures at a number of Greek destinations lead to confusion and cancelations.

“The tighter restrictions imposed in some areas caused confusion with regard to the existence of a lockdown and this led to new cancelations… the season ended disreputably for some destinations,” said Tasios.

He added that misleading media reports regarding quarantine measures in Greece and abroad as well as a climate of fear had impacted travel.

Concluding, Tasios said it was vital to ensure “better communication management” of measures in the future.

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  1. Ying-Sing Ho Reply

    Greece wants foreign visitors, but is it willing to compel it’s airlines to refund passengers for cancelled flights as required by EU passenger rights laws? How are we expected to return when hotels and airlines are not willing to make refunds because of travel restrictions?

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