The Greek hospitality sector saw a change in trends with regard to occupancy levels, room rates, and hotel categories with Thessaloniki gaining ground, according to GBR’s Greek Hospitality Industry Performance study released this week.
As reported last week by GTP Headlines, a surge in demand for travel to Athens did not translate into increased occupancy levels, which instead dropped throughout the year apart from August. Room rates edged up slightly by 0.9 percent year on year (y-o-y) in 2019 but revenue per available room (RevPAR) declined by 1.4 percent.
Meanwhile, hotels in Thessaloniki showed improved RevPAR, up by 11 percent year on year in Q4 2019, with yearly data up by 4.3 percent, generated in large part by 4-star hotels.
As for Athens, not only did it see an impressive number of new hotels open last year and an even stronger short-term rental market, but all the more properties offering rooms-to-let were also licensed in 2019 or are up for licensing.
Indicatively, a total of 31.3 million international tourists visited Greece in 2019, up by 4 percent against 2018, driving spending up by 12 percent to an estimated 17.6 billion euros.
Other interesting findings according to the GBR report indicate a flat performance of airports at resort locations with regional differences demonstrating popularity of some destinations. Indicatively, year-on-year growth at the airports of Kalamata and Mykonos increased in 2019 by 21 percent and 10 percent, respectively, while international traffic through Crete’s Heraklion and Chania airports dropped by 2 percent last year.
Unchanging airport performance demonstrated a flat demand for resort hotels in Greece with 2019 occupancy levels at 79.7 percent – close to 2018 levels. At the same time, however, total revenue rose by more than 7 percent y-o-y in 2019.
Marking the highest growth overall was the luxury 5-star resort segment with total RevPar up by 10 percent y-o-y in 2019. The 4-star segment remained steady, and the 3-star up by 5.9 percent.
Another key GBR finding showed that approximately 80 percent oftravelers to Greece feel that there is much more to see and do in Athens, with 87 percent saying they would return and 96 percent that they would recommend the Greek capital to others.