#Voices of Travel: Seasonal hotels are badly hit, says Guido Fiorentino from Greece

In this ongoing series, we explore how humans of travel are mitigating the ongoing COVID19 outbreak. Today Guido Fiorentino, President & CEO, Grande Albergo Excelsior Vittoria Spa shares his story.

Grande Albergo Excelsior Vittoria Spa is a seasonal hotel and we were closed when the COVID 19 emergency broke out. Our winter maintenance work was going on. The 2020 season looked very good, growth compared to 2019, in line with forecasts. We planned to consolidate the growth of the last few years at around 10%. Things were looking great for us.

Our business was completely compromised by COVID 19. We had planned to open after the winter break on April 1st, unfortunately, this was not possible and to date, the opening is scheduled for in May, but we are still not sure when it will be possible. Our most important challenge is to try to partially save the 2020 summer season and despite being an optimist, I see it as very difficult. We depend on the provisions that are communicated to us by the respective governments, ours and that of the customers. We are currently working with clients to move the dates of their events into a period that we can imagine, it may be possible to organize the event.

Today we are closed, our staff is in layoffs and we are managing cancellations and changes to reservations. We are also reorganising and revamping ourselves for when we will reopen.

Unfortunately, in our type of business, we can do little, we totally depend on the rules that States will impose on flights and on the possibility of interacting with others. I believe that if this situation continues for many months, we will not be able to resume the activity and we will have to continue to be closed longer than expected. The Italian government has launched tools that allow companies like ours to take advantage of layoffs for our employees and that is what we are doing.

I am an optimist and I am sure that the situation will soon return to certain normalcy but, I am also objective, and I believe that until a vaccine or a cure is discovered, we will not be able to rest assured and that there will always be the possibility of the virus developing somewhere else.

To my industry peers, I’d like to say trust yourselves that together we will get out of this terrible situation.