ATHENS – The coronavirus has changed everyone’s lives. The new ‘normal’ is still unknown, but BeachDibs has launched itself ahead of the curve as Greece prepares for its tourist season.
Often cited as an international success story relating to its handling of the coronavirus, Greece has already started lifting many of its restrictions. Schools have begun their reopenings, as have certain businesses including retail and home improvement stores, as well as beauty salons.
Soon, ancient monument sites, which are a major lure for tourists coming to Greece, will also reopen. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece could be ready for international tourists as early as July 1st. As such, various companies in the tourism industry have started evolving in order to address safety and health concerns of those who will visit, or are thinking about visiting, Greece this summer.
One of these companies, BeachDibs, was started by three Greek-American brothers in 2016. Ted, Tom and George Hristodoulou first created BeachDibs to make the lives of beach-goers easier. They developed a website where people could reserve beach chairs before actually going to the beach – thereby saving time and energy searching for a chair when everyone is going to the beach.
The whole idea started after George went to Greece with his wife and children. When they were in Paros, they tried going to a beach, but they couldn’t find any chairs – so they decided to go to another, and then another – but chairs were nowhere to be found. As you might imagine, this was incredibly frustrating, especially with young children.
As of today, BeachDibs serves five destinations including: Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, Naxos and Paros. The Hristodoulou brothers hope that their company will make Greece’s tourism industry evolve into a safer, more efficient and more pleasant experience. They work with a variety of hotels and organized beaches and are hoping to expand their reach.
When asked about their goals for this summer, George Hristodoulou said: “Due to the pandemic, our service has gone from a luxury service to a necessity for safety. Our goals are to continue to provide a safe and valuable customer service benefit for those visiting Greek beaches.”
BeachDibs and their online reservation system will promote an environment with no overcrowding or waiting in lines. The system will also reduce interaction between employees and customers and provide contactless payment and contact tracing information. The sunbeds will be more spread out than tourists are used to and they will be cleaned with special disinfectants after the visitors depart.
The National Herald asked whether the Greek government showed interest in integrating BeachDIbs as a nationwide initiative. Hristodoulou said: “Yes, they have shown an interest in our business model and we are currently in discussion with them.”
BeachDibs will give visitors one less (very important) thing to worry about. As the Hristodoulou brothers say: just “reserve and relax.”
For more information on BeachDibs please visit https://www.beachdibs.com/. And for those involved in the summer tourist industry in Greece and would like to work with the Hristodoulou brothers, please contact George at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no sign up cost for the beaches to participate.