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Greece’s Airbnbs Rival Hotel Room Capacity, Says Study

Airbnbs in Greece have now rivalled their hotel counterparts in terms of bed capacity, according to a study released this week by SETE Intelligence (INSETE), the research department of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).

More specifically, short-term rental companies such as Airbnb and HomeAway listed 179,000 properties offering 854,000 beds between July 2019 and June 2020, which, said INSETE analysts, equals the number of beds available at hotels countrywide.

The majority of vacation rentals was concentrated in Attica (18 percent), Crete (17 percent), and the Cyclades (17 percent), which accounted for more than 50 percent of the total.

The Ionian islands follow with 14 percent and the Dodecanese with 5 percent.

In terms of bed capacity, Crete was in the lead accounting for 18 percent of all available beds, followed by the Cyclades (17 percent), Attica (17 percent), and the Ionian islands (14 percent).

Overall, of a total of 179,000 short-term rentals, 89 percent were in independent properties, 2 percent hotel rooms, and 9 percent private rooms in a larger shared house or apartment.


The INSETE report also found that in some regions, the number of available short-term rental beds were greater than hotel beds. In the popular Cyclades islands, which include Mykonos and Santorini, 73 percent of the available beds were in holiday rental facilities, 69 percent in Attica, 66 percent in the Peloponnese, 54 percent in the Ionian, and 52 percent in Thessaly, mainland Greece.

This did not apply in the Dodecanese where only 20 percent are short-term rentals or on Crete at 44 percent.

“[Short-term property rentals] are no longer exclusively an activity of exploiting unused resources for a little extra income, but on the contrary, with the professional management and utilization of relevant sharing platforms, is an activity that plays an important role in shaping the country’s tourism product, especially in key tourist areas such as the Cyclades, Attica and the Ionian, where available beds for short-term rental potentially exceed beds on offer by hotels,” said the INSETE report.

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