ATHENS – Breakfast in hotel rooms and dinners a la carte while check in and check out will be done from a distance via smartphones, with a glass partition separating guests and staff at the reception desk. These and many other changes will be made in hotels that open their doors in Greece in the wake of the pandemic.
Greek hotels are already gearing up for the day after lockdown. On the island of Crete, the hoteliers union is collaborating with regional authorities, the University of Crete and the Greek National Health System and has commissioned Howarth International to prepare a study on what the "new normal" for hotels should look like. "The results are expected to be ready in two weeks," the president of the Hoteliers Union of Crete, Nikos Halkiadakis, said to the Athens-Macedonian News Agency.
The president expressed deep concerns about whether hotel units should, or will even be able to, open without the state's support. "Without the state's support we will have a huge financial problem. We want to open on sustainable terms and if this does not happen we may not open at all," he said, adding that the interventions for health protection in hotels have a significant cost and are in many cases impossible to implement.
On her part, the president of the Hoteliers Union of Kos, Constantina Svinou, wondered what the cost of opening the hotels will be, particularly in terms of protecting the local population from infection and also for the hotels. "Is it, in fact, right to launch the 'day after' or we should take the bold decision that we should be preparing for a dynamic 2021," she asked.
A source of anxiety is the potential arrival of tourists that might not be accurately diagnosed by the tests carried out before they travel abroad.
Finally, a so-called "health protocol" that will determine the rules for hotel operation in the era of coronavirus is almost ready.