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ICAP: Escalating Tourist Flows Keep Greek Hotels Afloat

Increasing tourist flows are breathing life into the Greek hotel sector which recorded stronger revenues in 2017, according to the latest survey released by business services group ICAP. 

The study found that in the 2013-2017 period, hotel businesses remained afloat thanks in great part to foreign travelers who accounted for almost 80 percent of all overnight stays boosting revenues at the same time.

According to ICAP, foreign visitors to Greece broke all records in 2016 at 26 million with the momentum remaining strong in 2017 and turnover in the 2014-2017 period rising in the A’, B’, and C’ categories.

According to ICAP data, for 2016, hotels in all categories hosted 80 million overnight stays with annual occupancy rates at 50.1 percent against 49.1 percent in 2015.

Meanwhile, the report found that the majority of accommodation facilities across the country improved quality with upgrades and modernization works. In 2016, a total of 9,730 hotel units with a bed capacity of 790,000 operated in Greece with 2-star hotels accounting for the majority (42 percent) of all hotels. Most of Greece’s accommodation facilities are concentrated according to ICAP in the South Aegean Region, which accounts for 25 percent of the total.

The total market size in terms of value for Luxury, A’ and B’ class hotels increased by 3 percent in 2017 compared to 2016 with revenue for luxury hotels increasing by 3.5 percent and for A’ class hotels by approximately 4 percent while B’ class hotels saw the figure rise by 1 percent.

The ICAP study concluded that Greece’s popularity as a leading travel destination of choice coupled with its high quality hotel infrastructure are its key advantages. On the downside, dependence on foreign tour operators and domestic problems including seasonality and hotel concentration in certain areas.

ICAP analysts note that developing alternative forms of tourism, tapping into new markets, upgrading accommodation infrastructure and enhancing the country’s promotion abroad are vital for the sector’s further growth.   

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