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Athens’ Hotels Bookings Continue To Drop

The “highly disappointing” figures of hotel occupancy in the Greek capital were confirmed late June by the Athens-Attica Hotel Association in collaboration with GBR Consulting.

According to the “year to date-May 2012” data, in the first five months of the year two-, three-, four- and five-star hotels in Athens recorded an 18 percent drop in occupancy, a 6.8 percent drop in the average room rate and a 23.5 percent drop in revenue per available room, compared to the January-May 2011 period.

In May alone, occupancy dropped 26.5 percent, the average room rate dropped 10.7 percent and revenue per available room dropped 34.4 percent.

The hotel association said in an announcement that the specific data was an addition to earlier, negative statistics of recent years, according to which the hotels in the Greek capital have recorded growing losses of 42 to 48 percent from 2007/2008 in regards to occupancy and revenue.

“The reasons why many hotels in Athens are forced to either close or fail to meet their fixed financial obligations are obvious,” the association said.

The association underlined that, according to publicized figures, the tragic image of Athens undoubtedly spreads to the rest of Greece (and affects bookings) and that important political decisions are required to stimulate the city’s local economy and restore the brand name of the Greek capital.

The hoteliers said that after the 2004 Olympic Games, planned projects (Metropolitan Conference Center, the development of the Olympic infrastructure and the use of the coastline) were frozen during the pre-crisis era. This was added to the many social problems of the city (illegal immigration, crime, drug trafficking) that were not addressed and thus worsened.

“Athens stepped down and gave way to competing destinations and cities,” the association said.

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