ECONOMY

Dozens of hotels close for lack of fire safety form

Tourism authorities are closing down 41 hotel units across Greece for lack of fire safety certificates. Tourism Development Minister Fanni Palli-Petralia published the list of the hotels penalized yesterday and said the decision was essential to safeguard the prestige of the Greek tourism sector. The hotels to be closed down are located on Crete, the Ionian Islands and the Cyclades. They are mostly small or medium-sized units and have a period of 20 days to comply with the decision. «In the first circular we sent to those who had not complied with fire safety regulations, we saw no response at all. There was some movement after the second one, but when the checks intensified and hoteliers saw that we were serious, they started to respond rapidly,» said Palli-Petralia. She stressed that the strict checks will continue throughout the tourism season and added that a radical revision of the entire monitoring framework of the tourism market has begun and will intensify, from the central administration to all tourism authorities. The ministry’s aim is to ensure the online interconnection of all agencies with the central administration so as to provide live information on the checks made. In total some 5,180 checks have been made on hotels across Greece, while the second wave of inspections will also include rented rooms. Palli-Petralia confirmed the positive developments in tourism this season, citing the example of Rhodes, where in the first fortnight of June there was a 10 percent rise in arrivals, while foreign currency inflows have also registered growth. She finally suggested that the first problems to be reported to the new complaints section of the ministry concerned Internet bookings.