The Interview of the Week >>Ch. Angelidis: Not all hotels will open

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There will be great ups and downs in the tourism industry this year, according to the president of the Pancyprian Association of Hotel Managers (PASYDIXE), Christos Angelidis. He describes things as very difficult, since the first six months of the year have already been lost. He stressed that it would not be possible for all hotels to operate this year, while those who do open will invest in the future, to serve their long-time dedicated and repeat customers and to build the bridge for 2021 bookings, even to their detriment.

In his interview, Mr. Angelidis refers to various factors that make it difficult for tourists to land in our country, such as the fact that the governments of most countries will try to persuade their citizens to do domestic tourism. He believes that markets in Central Europe should be our target, as traditional markets will be slow to open. According to Mr. Angelidis, there is some interest in domestic tourism, although it is timid and leaves hopes for better days. According to him, the Cypriots will support the industry during the months of July-August.  

Asked about the observance of the protocols and their role as observers, Mr. Angelidis states that the directors, in a discreet manner, should make their units the second line of protection after the airports. And this should be done through the observance of the provisions of the health protocols prepared by PASYDIXE for early recognition of a possible case, for effective handling in case of a confirmed case and in general for the creation of a safe environment in the hotel unit. However, the biggest challenge, he concludes, is to create opportunities for upgrading our tourism product, expanding the tourist season throughout the year and expanding into new tourist markets.

How do you think this year’s tourist year will go? Can safer predictions be made now?  

I would say it’s a year for strong nerves. Unfortunately, we are moving between an optimistic and a pessimistic scenario at the same time. The year will go by with great ups and downs due to the decisions of the governments of the places of origin of our customers, but also of the change in their epidemiological curve. Things are difficult, even very difficult, since the first six months of the year have already been lost. The only prediction is that it cannot be safely predicted, as things are at least today. Clearly, revised forecasts will be made gradually and according to the current data and developments in the international aviation sector.

Hotels are now open. Is there interest in reservations? How is domestic tourism moving?  

Yes, hotels were allowed to open, but the data is fluid. The parameters are unknown and unpredictable in terms of mood and financial ability of the world for travel. Reservations are restrained, which can be canceled at any time, and the prices are highly competitive worldwide. It should also be taken seriously that the governments of most countries will try to persuade their citizens to do domestic tourism. Some interest in domestic tourism, although cowardly, leaves hopes for better days, but this interest is limited and although it is entirely welcome, it will not be enough to cover the losses of the tourist season.

Do you have any clues as to how many hotels will eventually open for the tourist season?  

The effort is to open as much as possible, when and if conditions allow and depending on the data of each hotel. Our country needs it. The data are not the same for all hotels, both due to purchases and age groups of customers, as well as due to product specialization, but also due to significant and substantial differences in the countries of origin, which vary from province to province. All hotels, this year, will not be possible and possible to operate, unfortunately. Hoteliers will open up to invest in the future, to serve their long-time dedicated and repeat customers. They will open to declare their presence, to create the prospect of increasing bookings in 2020 and to create the bridge for 2021 bookings,

How will the hotel units welcome tourists this year?  

Our whole philosophy as hotels should be to instill security and confidence in the customer. The normal approach in a spirit of calm and contentment. The customer’s satisfaction with the correctness of his choice to choose our hotels, but mainly our Cyprus, with the ultimate goal of becoming the best ambassador, upon his return to his country, for the next guests.

What are the challenges for your profession? Will you acquire the role of observer / police officer for the observance of the protocols?

A hotel manager, no matter how exaggerated, should be a great conductor with many specialties. Specialties such as psychology, economics, law, sales, management and management, as it has to coordinate customers, employees, buildings, procedures, legislation and protocols, investors and travel organizers and all the authorities involved. And all of this should be part of the difficult equation of the different approaches, mentalities, cultures, interests and needs of the above. In the meantime, yes, for the good of Cypriot tourism and our hotels, the managers should discreetly make their units the second line of protection after the airports. And this should be done through the observance of the provisions of the health protocols that we have prepared as PASYDIXE for early recognition of a possible case, for effective handling in case of a confirmed case and in general for creating a safe environment in the hotel unit. However, a bigger challenge is for this unprecedented and huge international crisis to lead us to create opportunities to upgrade our tourism product, expand the tourist season throughout the year and expand into new tourist markets for better days. our homeland. for effective handling in case of confirmed case and more generally for the creation of a safe environment in the hotel unit. However, a bigger challenge is for this unprecedented and huge international crisis to lead us to create opportunities to upgrade our tourism product, expand the tourist season throughout the year and expand into new tourist markets for better days. our homeland. for effective handling in case of confirmed case and in general for the creation of a safe environment in the hotel unit. However, a bigger challenge is for this unprecedented and huge international crisis to lead us to create opportunities to upgrade our tourism product, expand the tourist season throughout the year and expand into new tourist markets for better days. our homeland.

Central Europe is our goal

From which markets will we attract tourism this year, since our traditional markets Britain, Russia, Sweden will be slow to open?

Our hopes, as well as our efforts, at this stage and point of time should be focused on Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Israel, Lebanon, Poland and the rest of Central Europe. Unfortunately, the Nordic countries postponed their travels in the fall. To reiterate here the importance that should be given to the Cypriot visitor as a key customer for the months of July and August, but also not only. After all, we have an obligation, both to our compatriots and to our economy. However, our traditional markets should always be in our focus, if and when their conditions allow, assessing the epidemiological development of each country and taking appropriate measures .

Not in hospital approaches

How will a unit be able to maintain balance as a place of hospitality that makes the visitor feel comfortable and on the other hand implements health measures?  

Our whole effort and as our dominant philosophy, should balance between the carefree environment and the very meticulous way of serving the visitor. In other words, health procedures should protect the visitor, avoiding hospital approaches that would dissipate the joy of the holidays. So the key is good preparation, training and faithful adherence to the rules of health and safety with discretion and I believe that then everything will be fine.

Source : PHIL