For the first five months of this year, overnight stays in the Athens region dropped by 16% when compared with the same period last year, according to the latest statistics released by the Attica Hoteliers’ Association. The greatest loss in stays occurred at the capital’s luxury units, but the association believes that next year’s Games, along with the implementation of the Attica Prefecture’s advertising and promotion program, and the completion of the many tourism-related infrastructure works, will turn the tide before the end of the year.
However, the association adds that the difficulties this year follow a difficult 2002, which on the whole creates a difficult situation for hoteliers, particularly the luxury units. For the first five months, these units saw their occupancy rate drop another eight percent to reach a rate of 40.55% during the period. First-class units saw their occupancy rate drop from last year’s 60% to 54.44%. The other units managed to show a slight increase in occupancy rate over last year’s first five-month period.
The association says this proves its initial fears of hard times against the government announcements that the drop in hotel stays this year would be minor. Fortunately, the hotels with the biggest drop in revenue were able to pick up 30% of the amount owed by the Olympic Games Committee for rooms booked, that left the hotels in a reasonable cash flow situation. The next 30% installment is expected this coming January and the final 10% comes during the Games.
Most units hope to pick up the loss in the first few months of next year when a barrage of arrivals are expected to ready for the Games.