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Athenian Hoteliers Experience Tingle of Optimism

Local hoteliers refuse to go out on a limb and suggest they experience anything close to optimism for 2004, but there was a slight optimistic tingle with the release of April’s overnight statistics, which came on the heels of disappointing first-quarter.

For the month of April, they say there was a clear across-the-board increase in overnight stays at all hotel categories when compared with April of last year. But in more than half of all categories, overnight stays are still below 2002 averages, which are considered more representative as 2003 proved a very difficult year because of the Iraq war and the SARS epidemic scare.

Athenian Hotels April Occupancy Rates

Cat 2002 2003 2004
5* 53,34 32,82 42,90
4* 75,30 50,45 64,78
3* 65,02 55,37 72,44
2* 49,23 46,56 49,03
Source: Attica Hoteliers Association

Source: Attica Hoteliers Association

The major exception were the 3-star Athenian hotel units that posted 72.44% occupancy rates this past April compared with 65.02% in April of 2002 and 55.37% in April of last year. Two-star units held their occupancy levels at around 49% in April, which is up from the 46.56% posted in April of last year but down less than a quarter of a point when compared with the same month in 2002.

While the above figures look encouraging, the Attica Hoteliers’ Association says that figures for the first quarter of this year were very disappointing. Compared with last year’s first quarter, overnight stays in Athens during the first quarter were down 3.7% against last year’s first quarter. And although average room rates for the same period were up 12.1%, most other European city hotels raised their rates by an average of 20%.

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The association says that is has done its part to upgrade and enrich hotels and services in an effort to entice tourists, but that the government has not made such an attempt. Its major complaints center on the lack of government support in creating needed tourism legislation and the almost complete lack of promotion abroad of the Greek tourism product.

European City Hotels Occupancy Rates

City
JANUARY – MARCH
2004
2003
% Difference
Athens
56,9
59,1
-3,7
Vienna
58,2
56,6
2,8
London
71,5
65,9
8,5
Paris
57,8
59,5
-2,9
Berlin
55,6
50,6
9,9
Munich
63,1
60,2
4,8
Rome
56,0
54,6
2,6
Amsterdam
65,0
66,5
-1,4
Barcelona
62,8
67,8
-7,4
Madrid
61,7
65,9
-6,4
Istanbul
54,5
47,7
14,3
European City Hotels Occupancy Rates, Source: Imerisia, June 8

European City Hotels Occupancy Rates, Source: Imerisia, June 8


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