The city of Athens continues to attract visitors despite the serious problems experienced in 2010, according to the Athens-Attica Hotel Association’s latest study on customer satisfaction and performance of hotels in Attica. The study was presented at the association’s 41st Annual General Assembly last month at the Grande Bretagne hotel.
According to the study, conducted by GBR Consulting, 90 percent of the visitors questioned said they would return to Athens and recommend the destination to friends. The percentage remained similar to 2009 levels (91.3 percent) in a sample of over 1,600 questionnaires from customers of hotels in Athens of all categories.
However, the association said the crisis had left its mark on Athens, since the city’s scores in the categories of cleanliness, safety, open spaces and transportation had worsened when compared with last year’s results.
According to the association, this year was the first time the three major hotel performance indicators (occupancy, average room rate and revenue per available room) showed a variation from the European and Mediterranean average.
Specifically, this year Athens was the only European metropolis that produced a reduction in occupancy and the average room rate for the January-September period. As a result, the revenue per available room fell by 6.9 percent.
Meanwhile, western Europe and southern Europe saw an increase in the revenue per available room by 12.2 percent and 5.9 percent respectively.
The association underlined that the hotel indicators dropped due to the fall in demand as a result of the negative image created for Athens by the media.
The study added that if destination Athens is enriched with the development of conference tourism and sea cruise, “tourism would become the ‘steam engine’ for the speedy economic recovery of the city.”