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Hotels May Reopen In Athens City Center

The infamous Omonia Square in the center of Athens.

Omonia Square in the center of Athens.

The tourism comeback of Athens-Attica in 2013, after six years of shrinking occupancy rates and revenues, have entrepreneurs considering opportunities for hotel investments in the Greek capital’s city center. The places of interest are said to be the surrounding areas of Omonia, Monastiraki and Karaiskaki squares.

During the 2008-2013 period, a total of 89 hotels with a capacity of some 6,800 beds shut down in Athens-Attica due to the crisis and high operational costs – 31 of the hotels were located in the center of Athens such as the 2Fashion House Hotel and the Acropol at Omonia Square and the Athens Imperial at Karaiskaki Square. The crisis aside, many of the hotels in the city center were forced to shut down due to urban degradation, rising crime and a reduced clientele.

According to reports, hoteliers in Athens believe that the city center seems to be making a comeback, business-wise. During a recent press conference of the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association, it was mentioned that two major hotels have given the Greek capital another chance (King George at Syntagma Square, which reopened last June and the Grecotel Pallas Athena at Kotzia Square reopened early this year).

The four-star Esperia hotel now stands locked on Stadiou Street, central Athens. Before the closure of Classical Acropol and Fashion House 2, Esperia and Kanigos 21 (Halkokondili street) were shut due to high rent and the impact of the economic crisis

The four-star Esperia hotel on Stadiou Street, central Athens, was shut due to high rent and the impact of the economic crisis.

Although the reopening of some of the city’s “ghost hotels” is still considered a risk by many, it is obvious that something is changing in the center of Athens. For example, the once degraded image of Omonia Square and streets that were literally inaccessible, due to high crime, seem to be taking a turn for the better.

In addition, the increase of airline routes to Athens on behalf of foreign companies and the planned redevelopment of Panepistimiou Street are considered factors that will contribute greatly to the city center’s reputation.

Last year, hotels in Athens-Attica saw an 11 percent increase in occupancy and an 8.7 percent rise in revenue per available room when compared to 2012.

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