BUSINESS

Hotels planning to offer secluded holidays

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism, Coronavirus

Major hotel groups in Greece are examining the various ways in which they could operate this summer, while ensuring the safety of their guests, in what could be seen as “quarantine holidays.”

Hotel chains are considering opening some seasonal units – though not all – as of July, while some of those that operate year-round units believe that reopening them from June 1 may be pointless and loss-making given the absence of demand from abroad. In anticipation of the rules of operation and government support measures, most groups are making their own plans for protection from the pandemic.

Among the scenarios that groups are examining – and expect to be imposed – is that of slashing the number of available rooms by at least 50 percent so as to ensure that guests can observe social distancing. Some hoteliers are considering pairing hotel rooms with specific seabeds on beaches and next to swimming pools so that they are only used by the guests in those rooms. 

They are also planning to do the same with dining room tables, while contemplating the idea of staggered times for all three daily meals to avoid crowding – and that after reducing available rooms to half. There will probably be no buffet at most resorts, while room service will likely be the norm.

Cleaning protocols will also be strict, with new rules and involving more staff too: Some hotel groups see bed linen and towels being placed outside the rooms to avoid staff having to enter, although rooms will be cleaned and disinfected more often than usual, and one-way systems may be set up within facilities to reduce contact between guests further.

One could say that this sounds like holidays in quarantine, with guests protected from almost all contact with staff and fellow holidaymakers. This is because – on top of the health considerations – hoteliers’ ultimate fear is an internal epidemic that would damage their reputation.

All this means hotels will charge the few guests they do end up hosting much more than usual, offering them services that will require more staff and entail more costs.

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