Greece: hotels to open in three waves

Greek hotels will open in three stages this year. Which one everyone joins in depends on the market in which they are attracting customers, i.e. whether it is geared towards Greek or foreign tourists, and whether travel between Greek prefectures will be allowed.

At the same time, the decisions of the government, the situation with the pandemic, as well as the resumption of international flights of airlines are very important.

The first wave will begin in the middle of Holy Week, and by April 29, hoteliers are planning to open several large hotels that serve the surrounding areas. Typical examples are the Sani Hotel in Northern Greece and Cape Sounion in Attica. They can provide excellent occupancy for clients from Thessaloniki and Athens.

Other hotels that will be open for Easter are Asteras Vouliagmeni, which have been closed over the past year. You can already make an order there, if you are allowed to move from your place of residence to the hotel, and receive a message on your mobile phone confirming the reservation in order to go there. In addition, some seasonal hotels are already open, such as one from the Mitsis group in Rhodes and one of the Grecotel hotels in Kyllini.

They accept mainly Greeks, who somehow managed to get permission to travel between prefectures, as well as foreign tourists who are in Greece in accordance with bilateral agreements. Recall that according to the decision of the Greek authorities, up to 10,000 Israelis and up to 4,000 Russians can arrive in the country weekly. Other hotels with no major markets nearby, such as the Costa Navarino in Messinia, will make the final decision depending on whether the passage is allowed and, accordingly, depending on the epidemiological situation. In any case, these hotels, like everything that opens, will strictly follow the protocols provided for by the law, which was successfully and effectively adopted last year. And also in cases where even stricter rules apply, such as a negative PCR test for all guests.

Table of indicators for tourism from various countries. The average decline compared to 2019 is 76.5%. With Russia, the situation is completely disastrous – 96.9% in terms of income and 95.6% in terms of tourists.

Second wave

The second wave of summer hotel openings is expected to begin on May 15, after which, according to government statements, the country will open to international travel. We remind you that based on the current regulations Greece will accept all travelers if they have a vaccination certificate, as well as all those who have recently had a negative test (green digital certificate for the EU and depending on bilateral agreements or EU agreements with third countries). There are clearly more hotels in this category than in the first wave, but some will open from May 15th and some closer to the end of May, depending on their main markets. Thus, from the second half of May, the gradual opening of individual hotels and chain hotels and groups is expected.

Third wave

The third wave is expected to be the largest, starting at the end of June and focusing on what is called the “hot season” in the market, that is, July and August.

However, the final decisions of the hoteliers have not yet been made, as the authorities are expected to soon clarify the rules set by the countries from which Greece attracts visitors. In particular, will they introduce quarantine upon the return of their citizens, which is a serious obstacle to travel. For example, next week, in particular on April 12, the relevant decisions of the UK are expected to be announced. Experts from The Telegraph note that by the beginning of the season, Greece, according to the level of COVID-19 disease, may be in the “red” zone and British tourists may be prohibited from traveling there.

The deciding factor in how these countries will treat Greece, of course, will be the epidemiological picture. Because most foreign governments are geared towards adopting what the UK calls “traffic lights” and resembles a map of the European Union with destinations marked in green, orange or red and with appropriate measures for each category. So the main bet for Greece is to get green. However, at the moment, it is an ongoing battle. As a reminder, only 60% of Greek hotels finally went live in 2020, according to a survey conducted by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasting (ITEP) for the Greek Hotel Chamber.

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