Greek authorities announced this week that starting this month, Greece’s Labor Inspection Body (SEPE) would be carrying out checks at hotels to ensure laws and security regulations are being implemented after Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said changes would be made to the relevant framework.
In an interview to Real FM, Kikilias said amendments have been made to the framework covering hotel operations aimed at providing higher quality services and ensuring strict adherence to safety rules.
“In order to do this, we must respect human resources working in tourism,” said Kikilias, adding that he had discussed the issue with the ministry’s regional services which issue licenses and oversee the start of tourism enterprise operations and which will now be responsible for carrying out inspections of provided services, identifying violations and imposing penalties.
Kikilias went on to add that licenses will be revaluated and inspections will include ensuring that lifeguards and security guards are present at hotel swimming pools, safety standards at private playgrounds, as well as adherence by hotel facilities to safety rules with regard to employees and visitors.
The minister went on to add that this is also a priority of the ministries of labor and development.
“Healthy entrepreneurship and exploitation of employees do not go hand in hand,” said Labor Minister Kostis Hatzidakis, earlier this week announcing SEPE checks.
The inspections, to ensure compliance with labor law, in particular with regard to undeclared work, compliance with working hour limits, issues of pay, leave and other benefits as well as issues of health and safety at work, will focus on coastal tourist areas in the Attica Region, the South Aegean Region islands, especially the Cyclades and Dodecanese, Crete, the Ionian Islands, and coastal tourist areas in the Peloponnese, Epirus, Thessaly, Central Macedonia and Eastern Macedonia & Thrace.
Lastly, Kikilias said that 1 billion euros of resilience (RRF) funds are slated to go into tourism infrastructure investments, including projects such as marina and port upgrades, accessibility for people with disability, modernization and energy upgrades at hotels, staff training, the development and promotion of winter tourism and accommodation options, mountain trails and ski resorts.
“The upgrade of the tourism product cannot be achieved without investment in infrastructure and this involves about 80 professions related to the construction sector,” said Kikilias.