Rotterdam, 26 April 2021 - The holiday pilot organized by Sunweb Group and Transavia, in cooperation with Mitsis Hotels at the request of the Dutch government, has been successfully completed. All 188 guests and 100 hotel employees finished the holiday pilot healthy and safe. The parties hope it will send an optimistic message to the world about a safe restart of tourism in Europe.
On 12 April, 188 guests were warmly welcomed by the staff of Mitsis Grand Hotel, the only 5-star ultra-all-inclusive hotel by the sea in historic Rhodes. The holiday pilot was supported by the Greek government and all of the relevant authorities in the Netherlands and Greece. In addition to this support, excellent cooperation between Transavia, HCC, Travel Exchange, Mitsis Hotels and Sunweb contributed to the successful execution of this holiday pilot.
Concept of the holiday pilot
At the request of the Dutch government, Sunweb and Transavia organised an 8-day all-inclusive holiday pilot to Rhodes. The aim of this pilot was to gain insights and data on the conditions under which people can safely and responsibly go on holiday. The research focuses on compliance with basic measures, testing and quarantine measures. This is done by conducting several anonymous surveys and by carrying out observations and interviews at the resort in Rhodes. The results of the observations and interviews are processed anonymously. Travellers were aware that this research was carried out and agreed to it when they confirmed their registration for the trip.
A partnership based on history
Sunweb Group chose Mitsis Hotels because of their many years of successful collaboration. The safety protocols that Sunweb Group and Transavia drew up with the Dutch government have been implemented very well by Mitsis Hotels. Mattijs ten Brink, CEO of Sunweb Group, said: "The safety of our travellers is always the most important aspect. We are pleased that all participants returned to the Netherlands in good health. This holiday pilot is so much more than an important step forward for the Dutch travel sector. This pilot is also important for all of our partners at our destinations. Like Mitsis Hotels, they invested heavily last year and can use the new insights gained from the pilot to make the final preparations for a summer full of satisfied holidaymakers."
Reinoud Koot, Sun Director of Sunweb Group, attended the holiday pilot and said: "The quality, service and hospitality of Mitsis Hotels are of a high standard and our guests were able to experience that last week. The reactions of our guests were very positive, and, despite the limitations, everyone enjoyed a wonderful holiday. I would like to thank Mitsis Hotels, the Greek local authorities and Travel Exchange for the successful cooperation".
A detailed health and safety plan
The highest priority for Mitsis Hotels is the health and safety of its guests, which is why the company had already drawn up a detailed action plan and operational protocols. Each staff member underwent PCR testing before the start and at the end of the programme. Stavros Mitsis, Managing Director of Mitsis Hotels Group, adds: “The success of the project contributes to the emergence of our country as a safe holiday destination, as well as marking the beginning of the tourist season and the gradual return to normality. I would like to thank the Ministry of Tourism, the Region of South Aegean, the Municipality of Rhodes & the National Public Health Organization (EODY) for their significant support, our long-time partner Sunweb Group for the flawless cooperation and, of course, the entire team of Mitsis Hotels for the excellent management & service for our guests. We are looking forward to welcoming you all back to one of our 17 unique destinations in Greece”.
PCR and rapid tests
The holiday pilot test was performed with detailed safety protocols that were approved by the Dutch RIVM. The protocols included PCR and rapid tests before, during and after the trip, with all required protective measures being followed. Specifically, the testing procedure for the 187 selected guests was as follows:
- Prior to arrival:
All participants had PCR tests 72 hours before the trip, while rapid tests were performed by HCC at Schiphol Airport 4 hours before departure.
- Before departure:
All participants had PCR tests 72 hours before and rapid tests 4 hours before their departure to the Netherlands, all performed by EODY (the Greek RIVM).
- Upon return to the Netherlands:
All guests will go into quarantine for 10 days after returning home or will undergo a new PCR test after five days of quarantine. If that PCR test is negative, then they will be released from quarantine.
The Dutch government will soon announce the results and valuable insights of the holiday pilot.