The Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association expressed concern on Tuesday after presenting data showing that the performance at hotels in the Greek capital took a tumble in the first half of the year.
Occupancy in the city fell 1.8 percent from January to June, according to GBR Consulting. In May alone occupancy was down 6.5 percent.
“The first negative signs recorded after a very positive 2013-2015 period, warn us of a change and this urges us to immediately launch measures and collective actions to safeguard the Athens tourism product”, the president of the association, Alexandros Vassilikos, said at a special event at the Acropolis Museum, while presenting the tourism actions for the Greek capital carried out by the association over the last six years.
More into the data, the Athens hotel industry reported positive results in the other two key performance metrics during the first six months of the year. Compared to last year, the Athens average room rate (ARR) for the six month period was up 3.9 percent to 90,19 euros, and revenue per available room (RevPAR) increased 2 percent to 65,78 euros.
Commenting on the fact that arrivals to Athens were becoming stagnant, Aegean Airlines’ vice president Eftihis Vassilakis said that a new effort is needed for the city’s tourism product. “Within three and a half years the direct international connections to Athens have increased to 71 from 26, but we see stagnation in numbers”, he said.
On his part, Athens Mayor Giorgos Kaminis said that demand for Athens can be maintained if the destination offers stability and safety.
“Athens must not live in the moments of the past that harmed tourism,” he said and announced that the municipality will launch the 2017 tourism campaign for the Greek capital this autumn.