Hammered by the coronavirus pandemic and extreme measures to stem the rise of infections, the Greek hotel industry is desperate for help. In a recent interview with the Kathimerini newspaper, the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH), Alexandros Vassilikos, is calling for an injection of capital.
According to Vassilikos and many othere industry experts, 2020 was a natural disaster that has yet to end. Occupany for Greek hotels in the third quarter of 2020 were a fraction of what they were in 2019, and now many hotels are at risk of failure. With the 2021 tourist season still an unknown, Greek hoteliers are keen to find solutions to what will be an even bigger catastrophe if nothing is done to assisted them.
Vassilikos told the Kathimerini that the problems faced by hotels since the onset of the pandemic are not due to mistakes in their business decisions but rather have been imposed by conditions. He referred to the situation as equivalent to a natural disaster and said the situation should be treated in a similar manner.
The HCH President is imminently familiar with the situation as head of the organization, and on an up close level as the owner of the famous Airotel Group of Hotels. Vassilikos is also at the forefront of discussions about the future of Greek hotels.
In a recent report, Vassilikos and other leading industry executives are cited discussing Greece’s sustainable future. Some of these experts are now taking the hard line on past models, and the view that the real enemy of sustainable hospitality in Greece is mass tourism.
While the debate on what Greek hospitality and tourism needs to look like in the future, the debate is full on. However, the acute situation Vassilikos wants the government to address is just that, acute. If a huge number of Greek hotels default, rebuilding Greece tourism with a new focus will certainly take a lot longer to achieve.