The growing number of new hotels and increasing Airbnb-style options available in Athens is leading to an expansion of the city’s accommodation sector, as reported by GBR Consulting.
According to GBR’s quarterly findings on Greek hospitality industry performance, the short-term rental market continues its growth path with its expansion into new neighborhoods, which were once considered less attractive, this way offering even more accommodation options to visitors and enhancing competition in the Greek hospitality market.
This year, many new and renovated hotels have opened – including the 330-room 5-star Four Seasons Astir Palace – or are set to open in the Attica Region, such as the 240-room 4-star Ever Eden (Somewhere Hotels) and the 60-room 5-star Academia (Athens Autograph Collection).
Hotels in the Attica Region accounted for nearly 800 rooms in the 3- to 5-star categories in 2018, with other new openings planned for 2020. In the meantime, over 900 out-of-use hotel rooms are expected to be placed on the market in the upcoming future.
At the same time, the rooms-to-let sector has also grown over the past three years: by 239 percent in terms of units and by 157 percent in terms of rooms, GBR reports.
The hospitality market is boosted by increasing incoming tourism. Indicatively, Athens International Airport (AIA) saw the number of arrivals rise by 14.3 percent y-o-y in the first quarter of the year. GBR cites the expanding accommodation market as the cause for the 6.8 percent drop in occupancy levels at Athens hotels in Q1.
In April, AIA passenger traffic reached 2 million, up by 6.5 percent: the number of domestic passengers was up by 0.5 percent and international travelers stronger by 9.1 percent. Overall, AIA traffic in the first four months of the year came to 6.36 million passengers, up by 8.5 percent.
In Thessaloniki, meanwhile, RevPAR improved by 4.0 percent y-o-y in Q1 2019, driven by stronger occupancy and ADR figures. International arrivals into the northern port city increased by 11.8 percent y-o-y in the first quarter.
The number of hotels and hotel rooms in Thessaloniki showed a small increase in 2018 compared to a year earlier, while short-term rentals and rooms-to-let expanded significantly, with the latter reaching a total of 522 units in January 2019 and a total of 4,137 rooms.