Greek hotels saw their turnover in 2020 drop by 78 percent to 1.83 billion euros compared to 8.35 billion euros in 2019, as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its impact on travel and tourism, according to a report by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP).
ITEP said that only one in five year-round hotels managed to operate in 2020.
Following Greece’s first lockdown in March 2020, only 59 percent of the country’s year-round hotels – 2,328 out of 3,965 units – managed to reopen, while 63 percent of them were forced to close again by the end of the year.
As a result, only 863 year-round hotels – 22 percent of the total – remained open in December 2020.
The data compiled by ITEP also showed that year-round hotels operated for seven months on average and seasonal hotels only for 3.2 months.
Average occupancy rates in Greece during July-September amounted to 23.1 percent. It is reminded that average occupancy rates in September 2019 had reached 79.2 percent.
Despite the drop of occupancy rates and revenues, ITEP found that hotels managed to maintain the same employment rates in 2020 compared to 2019, mainly with the contribution of state-run support programs.
Titled “The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the hotel sector 2020”, ITEP’s report was carried out with the participation of hotel units from all over Greece during November 5 – December 10.
Health crisis management important for 2021 tourism season
Speaking to reporters during an online press conference on Monday, Hellenic Chamber of Hotels President Alexandros Vassilikos said that the findings of ITEP’s study confirm the “unprecedented magnitude” of the crisis that Greek hotels faced in 2020.
He also noted that the hospitality sector has benefited from the available funding tools but needs more.
“It is important to support hotels as the sector gathers 70 percent of tourism revenues and plays a leading role in the recovery process… If we achieve 40 percent of the performance of 2019, growth will reach 100 percent in 2021 compared to 2020,” he said.
“There are many unknown factors in the equation but there are also positive signs for the market’s restart that derive from the behavior of consumers and Greece’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic,” he added.
Vassilikos underlined that the proper management of the pandemic would be the best way to promote Greece.
“As last year, health is our number one priority and we will continue to cooperate with Greece’s epidemiologists in order to determine the time and way of opening for Greece’s hotels,” he concluded.