The coronavirus pandemic has hit the Greek tourism sector hard with 65% of hoteliers saying they could face bankruptcy

Santorini Greek IslandiStock / Freeartist

  • 65% of Greek hoteliers say that bankruptcy of their business is either “likely” or “most likely,” according to a study by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, a government body that represents the Greek hotel industry.
  • Speaking to Business Insider, Alexandros Vassilikos – the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels – said he was “not shocked” by the findings.
  • Analysts at UBS estimate that tourist spending across Europe fell 68% year-on-year in March 2020, with the UN World Tourist Organization calling tourism one of the industries “hardest-hit” by COVID-19.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Greek hoteliers are increasingly worried about their future.

The Greek Reporter newspaper cited a study by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, a government body that represents the Greek hotel industry. It found that 65% of Greek hoteliers said that bankruptcy of their business is either “likely” or “most likely.”

According to the study, 65 percent of hoteliers say that the bankruptcy of their business is either “likely” or “most likely” — at 46.6 and 18.3 percent, respectively.

Speaking to Business Insider about the study, Alexandros Vassilikos – the president of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels – said he was “not shocked” by the results of the survey, which he said covered “most” Greek hoteliers.

“When you’re talking about sentiment – when borders are closed and planes are not flying, sentiment cannot be positive,” he said.

“For me, it’s definitely not the number I’d like to focus on. It’s not something I’d like to underline. I’m not trying to brush anything under the carpet, but for me, the important thing is that yes, we’re facing a very big drop [in Greece], but it’s not different from other countries. No-one is traveling, so there is a big worry all across the touristic chain.

“If I were to predict what’s going to happen, it’s very difficult,” he continued. “We obviously believe it’s a year that, touristically, will be lost worldwide. When will flights begin again? How will flights begin again? Under what restrictions will they resume? We also need to assess the quantity. How many people will travel, and where will they travel, and why will they travel?

“It’s very difficult to have a prediction for this year. But we all need to realize that every industry will change after this [pandemic]. Whether this change will last forever, or 10 years, or three years, nobody can know,” he said. 

Vassilikos added that US and European tourists “will have time to do holidays later,” emphasizing the need to remain patient and vigilant.

In a recent, a group of UBS analysts estimated that tourist spending across Europe fell 68% year-on-year in March 2020, with the UN World Tourist Organization calling tourism one of the industries “hardest-hit” by COVID-19.

The Greek tourist industry has likely not been helped by Greece’s early decision (early relative to other European countries) to take measures aimed at curbing COVID-19’s spread.

As far back as February, Greece canceled all carnival celebrations, and it closed schools and universities on March 10. To put this into context, the UK – which has suffered over 13,000 coronavirus-related deaths so far, according to data from Johns Hopkins University – didn’t close schools until March 20.

To date, Greece has suffered 105 coronavirus-related deaths according to the same source.

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/greek-hoteliers-think-bankruptcy-likely-amid-coronavirus-crisis-2020-4-1029104603

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