In a dramatic tone, the Panhellenic Hoteliers Federation (PHF) points out in a letter to ministers Adonis Georgiadis and Kostis Hatzidakis that no crucial moves have been made even though we are only 15 days before the official opening of tourism.
This year is even more difficult for our members than 2020. The obligations are increasing and endurance no longer exists, says PHF.
The complete text of the letter
We are about 15 days before the official opening of tourism and we do not see exactly how our members will be able to reopen, nor do we know under what conditions this will happen.
The liquidity of our businesses has hit red. For a year now, our only revenue has come from Substantial Repayments. In fact, most of our members did not receive any aid after the Refundable Advance Payment 4. These are amounts that were given to cover liabilities of 2020 and they have been exhausted.
The few seasonal businesses that reopened in the previous tourist season did so at a loss, and the continuously operating businesses that continue to open continue to increase their losses.
It is a given that most of our members will not be able to support themselves even by the measure of the fixed costs subsidy, as from this aid is deducted both the total of the Reimbursable Advances they have received (in terms of the repayable and non-repayable amount), as well as the interest subsidy.
Advances of course do not exist. We have already arrived in May and the reservations are zero. If the epidemiological data in our country improve, we may start operating in July, if the epidemiological data in the main countries – markets (Germany, France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, USA, etc.) improve, we may start to have full coverage from August.
With what money will our companies be able to cover the very high costs required for their re-operation? How will licensed funds be able to meet the new obligations they have created, borrowed through Entrepreneurship Fund TEPIX and the Guarantee Fund to pay their fixed costs, their loan obligations, their debts to suppliers, obligations to which they could not meet turnovers?
How will seasonal businesses decide to reopen if they know they have to re-employ all their seasonal staff without professional purpose?
The announced program for the strengthening of hotel businesses in view of their reopening should have already been published. Solutions should have already been found to cover the obligations of our members to Entrepreneurship Fund TEPIX and the Guarantee Fund, obligations which can not be included in the Bridge II program.
The measure of suspension of employment contracts for seasonal staff should already have been extended to seasonal enterprises. It should have already been clarified that they will also have the right to use the COOPERATION program on the same terms as last year.
This year is even more difficult for our members than 2020. The obligations are increasing and endurance no longer exists. Of course we recognize the efforts you have made to help our businesses. However, in the year 2020 we were talking about a reduction in turnover of 78%, while today we are at absolute zero!
There are a few days left before the official opening of tourism and if you do not immediately solve the above problems many hotels, especially the small units that are the backbone of the Greek Hotel industry, will not be able to operate again.
Restarting tourism with closed hotels can not be done. Greek Tourism without Greek Hotels does not exist.