Greek hotels can play a leading role in the recovery of Greece in the post-Covid era, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) President Alexandros Vassilikos said on Wednesday.
“However, to get there, as a restart does not automatically lead to the desired result, we will need proper planning, along with new and targeted interventions, to support hotels,” Vassilikos said while speaking during an event titled “The Next Day of the Greek Hotel: Utilizing the Financial Resources”, organized by the chamber and the Tourism Ministry.
The event, which took place one day after the EU approved Greece’s recovery and resilience plan “Greece 2.0”, focused on the future of the Greek hospitality industry through the utilization of the plan’s available financial tools.
“The national recovery plan is a historic opportunity and Greek hotels, with their timeless contribution to the economy and society, can help pave the way towards a greener and smarter Greece to offer quality and authenticity,” the chamber’s president said.
HCH avoids forecasts for 2021 season
Highlighting that this year’s tourism season is highly unpredictable, Vassilikos said that the chamber would not make any forecasts but continue to monitor the season’s development through research conducted by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP).
“What we know for sure so far is that for the two last weeks of June, the occupancy rate among the hotels that managed to open this season is on average 34.5 percent,” the chamber’s president said, adding that when taking under consideration the total amount of hotels in Greece, that occupancy rate drops to 28.9 percent.
Vassilikos stressed that despite the unprecedented uncertainties, the hotel industry is “fighting its battle”, looking to overcome all difficulties, with a single goal: “to lift Greece higher”.
As he pointed out during his speech, for Greek hotels to rise to the occasion, targeted interventions are essential.
“We urgently need to upgrade to be compatible with global trends, not only with regard to tourism but for what the brand Greece should display to the whole world, whether we are talking about visitors, digital nomads, investors, executives or consumers of Greek products… Greece needs to take a leap in quality after the pandemic,” he highlighted.
During the event, ITEP Director General George Petrakos presented four new studies, which reflected the current situation in hospitality and the intention of Greek hotels to invest in the areas of sustainability, employment and tourism education/training, new technologies and accessibility.
The findings of the surveys fueled discussions of an equal number of thematic panels, which focused on how the Greek hotel industry will use the financial tools of the national recovery and resilience plan “Greece 2.0” to create new added value for both Greek tourism, the national economy, employment, small and medium-sized enterprises, regional development and the sustainable prosperity of local communities.