Greece’s hoteliers, particularly those at popular winter destinations, are betting on arrivals for the three-day Epiphany holiday to increase occupancy levels and boost revenues.
According to hoteliers at winter destinations, occupancy levels for New Year’s and Christmas were lower compared to a year earlier with expectations now on the Epiphany weekend.
Winter location professionals are expressing disappointment with 2019 results, citing increased costs and taxes, growing home-sharing activity, but lagging revenue.
More specifically, professionals in the coastal town of Volos near Pelion – a traditional winter preference – said they also saw a decline in the number of arrivals as well as in consumer figures. They added that the city’s holiday events failed to keep visitors there for more than a few hours.
Pelion hoteliers on the other hand, said Christmas occupancy exceeded 85 percent, New Year’s came to 60 percent, with expectations now set on the Epiphany weekend ahead.
In Kalavryta, meanwhile, a popular ski resort town, hoteliers said bookings dropped for the New Year to 60-70 percent compared to Christmas, which exceeded 90 percent. For the Epiphany holiday, Kalavryta hotels are fully booked.
Another popular winter destination, Arahova, a two-hour drive from Athens, saw occupancy levels reach 90 percent for all three holidays. However, according to Naftemporiki, hoteliers said they are facing pressure due to Airbnb-style rentals.
Greece’s domestic tourism – which accounts for a large part of winter destination activity – is now only slowly recovering from the crisis, which saw figures dwindle in the last decade.