Health safety protocols for hotels (deep dive article into issues and hurdles to overcome)


TUV Austria, TUV Hellas, SGS Hellas and Cosmocert are the four certification companies commissioned by the Hellenic Tourism Business Association to develop integrated health and safety plans for hotels and other accommodation in order to contribute to the ongoing collaboration. Greek health authorities and the government to find a model to restart tourism.

The four companies that offer their services free of charge are expected to submit their plans by mid-May so that there is time until the end of the month to reach an agreement with the scientific team that manages the pandemic in the country and to start operating hotels. twelve-month period in early June and seasonal one month later. However, not all hoteliers want to open under hotel-hospital conditions as typically mentioned and prefer not to open at all.

In addition, the distance that currently separates the positions of scientists from those of the business world in terms of the central issue, when foreign visitors will be allowed to enter the country and under what conditions, remains high. This became clear at the first meeting of all those involved. In particular, late Monday night, the first enlarged teleconference was held under the presence of the Minister of Tourism, Harry Theocharis, in the presence of the Undersecretary to the Prime Minister, A. Skertsou, on the issue in which G. Retsos, President of SETE, A. Vasilikos, President of XEE, George Velos participated. and Alexander Chinel from Fraport, G. Paraschis from DAA, K. Arkoumaneas from EODY and Professor Sotiris Tsiodras.

The teleconference began with an introductory statement by the minister, who referred to the working group set up by the ministry in co-operation with EODY and the Universities of Thessaly and Athens and which prepares the operating protocols of tourism-related companies. The minister called on partners to send their proposals. In the near future, the working groups will work intensively. The goal is to announce the protocols for the reopening of the tourism industry in the next few days, says the Ministry of Tourism, but everyone knows that it will take even a lot of effort and relevant political decisions.

Meanwhile, SETE, together with its counterparts, tourism business associations, Bundesverband der Deutschen Tourismuswirtschaft (Germany), Federturismo Confindustria (Italy) and Norwegian Tourism Partners (Norway), sent a letter from the European Commission to the head of the newly established Breton and all its members, as well as the Vice President of the EU. Margariti Schoina, in which she characterizes the need for horizontal support of the sector, both at European and national level, and in fact immediately, already from the 2nd half of 2020 and not just waiting for the tools of the new package 2021-2027.

Tourism, according to data from 2018, contributes 9.7% to GDP and employment in the Eurozone. In Greece, in 2019, it directly accounted for 13% of GDP, while the total contribution exceeded 25%. In fact, in specific regions (Southern Aegean 93%, Ionian Islands 73% and Crete 47%), the activity covers from the largest to almost all GDP in these areas.

Towards bilateral agreements to open the borders

Although all those involved in European and not only tourism are talking about the need for uniform rules for international travel and business operations, in fact more and more people are worried that such a thing is impossible to achieve at least at such a speed that it is not lost. in 2020 and undermined in 2021. The complexity of the problem combined with Babel’s views on each country and often even between health and political authorities and within each space but also the proverbial rhythms of European bureaucracy, which are now proverbial, point to the inability to form a common position before autumn. This is what both government officials across the EU believe. as well as business entities.

It is noteworthy that a German government minister urged citizens of the largest tourist attraction market in Greece, Germany, not to travel abroad this summer. Thus, the voices that speak of concluding bilateral agreements that will determine the rules by which one country will accept the citizens of the other are thickening. Bulgaria has already made the start of a bilateral agreement with Britain on resuming air links between the two countries. Similar moves are being made in Greece in many ways. However, SETE in its intervention to the EU He stressed that “the precondition for the resumption of the trip is the elaboration of an EU health and safety protocol. for the entire value added chain for travel and tourism, which will be observed by all Member States. ” “If each country develops its own protocols, as already planned by some Member States, this will only lead to a fragmented European market and the increased uncertainty among potential travelers will be a major obstacle to opening travel,” he said. SETE.

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