Covid-19 has impacted the Greek hotel sector taking a 350-million-euro bite out of revenues for hotels in Athens-Attica and Thessaloniki, according to a new study released this week by GBR Consulting.
Carried out on behalf of the Athens-Attica & Argosaronikos Hotel Association and the Thessaloniki Hotels Association, the study found that only 21 percent of total rooms in Attica and 42 percent in Thessaloniki reopened and operated in June, following Greece’s lockdown since mid-March.
Losses, meanwhile, exceeded 300 million euros for hotels in Attica in the first half of 2020 against the same period in 2019 despite a strong start in January and February. Of the 73 percent which operated in March, 5 percent opened in April and May, and 21 percent in June against 93 percent in the same month in 2019.
Of the hotels operating in June (21 percent), occupancy did not exceed 26 percent.
Estimates for Athens are not positive, said Athens-Attica & Argosaronikos Hotel Association President Labrini Karanasiou-Zoulovits. “We expect the whole of 2020 to be a ‘lost year’; this is our assessment based on reservations and arrivals of tourists to Athens so far,” she said.
Karanasiou-Zoulovits went on to add that Greek hoteliers went ahead and adapted to Covid-19 requirements “but this is not enough to successfully reopen, there are many problems that arise from the complete absence of customers and there is now a serious issue of survival of hotel businesses, which, of course, impacts employment”.
With regard to hotels in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, losses are expected to reach 50 million euros in the first half of the year, the study found.
From a total of 71 percent hotels in operation in March before the Covid-19 outbreak, a mere 4 percent operated in April-May, increasing to 42 percent in June with 35 percent occupancy levels compared to 79 percent a year ago.
“Although the year started off positively, we expect the pandemic to lead to the most difficult year of the last decades both for Thessaloniki and for all Greek tourism,” said THA President Andreas Mandrinos, who painted a bleak picture for the season ahead.