For the month of August at least, hotels in the general and greater Athens region managed to do well with their average occupancy rate hitting 95% during the Olympic Games, says the Attica Hoteliers’ Association.
The percentage is considered more than satisfactory as some 6,000 new beds had been added to the Attica hotel capacity over the past few years.
Revenue for the month of August reached some 300 million euros for the hotels, which helped owners confront some of the financial problems due to low occupancy during the first half of the year.
According to the hotel association, a large portion of the revenue came from those units that had signed initial agreements with the Olympic Games organizing committee long before the Games. These same hotels said that occupancy rates for the month of September have been satisfactory as well.
Customers to the hotels included a good number of professional travelers who arrived to attend the various meetings, events and conferences held during August and September.
And according to the Bank of Greece, tourism revenue for the month of August reached 2.6 billion euros, compared with 2.1 billion euros posted in August of last year.
But the Greek hotel sector in general did not do as well as expected. ICAP, the largest business information and consulting firm in Greece, recently released some tourism data from its latest study, which concentrated on company sales for 2003. It found that tourism units posted a 3.1% increase in sales but that gross profit dropped by 7.6%. Operating profit, however, fell from 129 million euros the year before to 16 million last year, and that pre-tax profit fell from 108 euros to 4 million euros.
The study says the drop was due mainly to four big hotel units and one rent-a-car agency.
Overall, the hotel sector was the only sector with an overall loss, which reached 15.1 million euros. The study included 4,168 tourism enterprises. On the positive side, Athens International Airport did well in 2003 as did Minoan Lines, which returned to profit.