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Athens Occupancy Crisis

The Athens-Attica Hotel Association says that the negative international economic situation will have a downbeat impact on tourism in Athens as this year may prove even more difficult than 2004.

According to the association, the July figures show a decline in average occupancy in Athens Attica hotels of 4.1 percent when compared with July 2007.

Initial figures for the month of August show a 5.5 percent decline. And the association expects an overall decline of 2.7 percent in occupancy rates for the period, but a similar increase in room revenue. Meanwhile, the highest occupancy rates in July were reported in three-star hotels at 73.10 percent and this -according to the association- shows the visitors’ economic difficulties.

Five- and four-star hotels faced a decline in average occupancy at 2.5 percent and 6.5 percent respectively (June had posted a decline of 1.9 percent).

The association says that the biggest problem is the inability to find solutions for long-term problems. It expresses concern about: the successful promotion of the city as a well-organized city break destination; the serious problems the city faces due to the lack of policing, which in turn cancels any positive image in favor of Athenian tourism; the slow pace of procedures for the creation of an Athens Conference Center; and the opening hours of museums and archaeological sites.

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