Head of hotels' umbrella organisation: Industry lost roughly 240 ml euros from March to May

The hotel industry's losses in March, April and May amount to roughly 240 million euros, as approximately 6 million overnight stays have been wiped off because of the coronavirus pandemic, president of the Romanian Hotel Industry Federation (FIHR ) Calin Ile told Agerpres. "We estimate the hotel industry's loss at about 6 million overnight stays, which takes us somewhere at around 240 million euros lost in March - April - May. We hope to operate somewhere at 40-50 percent of last year's performance in the last seven months of the year," Ile said. He considers that smaller hotels might have to limit their capacity because of the coronavirus safety requirements, mentioning that the measures for the prevention of the spread of the virus incur a cost of 50 euros per hotel industry employee. "According to our estimates, the cost of complying with the hygiene and sanitary measures is around 50 euros per employee. These costs are currently borne by the investor, because there is no support in place despite several discussions that the respective amounts will be partially covered by the state; at this moment there is no such support and the 50 euros per employee have been borne by us," the FIHR official explained. Ile also pointed to the hotel industry's efforts to convey a sentiment of security to the customers. "The federation has recommended its members rules of operation for both the hotel and the restaurant service. We organized various courses, we keep in close contact with our members to help them safely open business, because safety is paramount. Of course, some of the federation members will open their hotels now, as of June 1, others will do it progressively as demand increases, but we believe that June 1 sends a good signal, it is a first step towards tourism reopening this year. Other steps must follow, I think we should open the swimming pools as of June 15, open the recreational areas, partially open indoor restaurants, and after June 30 we should also consider indoor events. These are the three stages to follow for reopening business in the tourism sector," said the FIHR president. President Klaus Iohannis announced on Thursday a set of lockdown-easing steps effective as of June 1, such as the reopening of terraces, beaches, the resumption of international transport and out of locality travel without a bona fide declaration, the possibility to organize outdoor sports events and shows, everything under the strict observance of safety and distancing rules. AGERPRES (RO - author: George Coman, editor: Daniel Badea; EN - author/editor: Simona Klodnischi)

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