Keeping rooms full and tourists safe, how Greek hotels survive as visitors arrive
Many of Greece’s hotels are reopening this summer with specific safety measures in place in an effort to salvage a shortened tourism season.
The challenge is to fill rooms while keeping guests both safe and socially distanced, from the moment guests check-in up until the point they leave.
Greece’s National Health Organisation recommends large gatherings are avoided, particularly indoors, and that every surface and object in public areas are sanitised regularly.
Hotel rooms must also be thoroughly cleaned and ventilated, whether or not they are accessible to the public.
One hotel on the island of Naxos provides disinfectant and an information sheet in every room, telling guests how they keep themselves and others safe.
Room keys are thoroughly disinfected and remote controls for the air conditioning are wrapped in plastic sheeting that is replaced for every new guest.
“We had to choose between an empty hospital-type room and a beautiful, warm, welcoming room,” said Konstantinos Stamatopoulos, the owner of the hotel in Naxos.
“Therefore, we used special cleaning materials, certified and approved by the Greek National Organisation for Medicines, so that we don’t spare anything regarding the safety of our personnel and guests”.
The same hotel no longer offers a breakfast buffet: instead, it asks guests to make a selection from five menus the night before, although it is still served in the public restaurant area.
There are also stricter times for guest movements: check out must be no later than 11 am and new arrivals cannot enter their rooms before 3 pm, to allow enough time for a thorough clean of the rooms.
Hotel owners like Stamatopoulos will be hoping the measures they have taken will be enough to tempt at least some holidaymakers to make it to Greece this summer.