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Coronavirus Puts Athens’ Hospitality Market on Hold

Photo source: Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association

The ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the travel restrictions imposed worldwide and low demand have put Athens’ hospitality market on hold.

There are no bookings [for Athens] at the moment. Nothing is certain for the next months, since we don’t have any prepaid bookings, while a flexible cancellation policy in place,” Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association Secretary General Evgenios Vasilikos said during a press conference on Tuesday.

According to Vassilikos, very few hotels are open in the Attica region at the moment, with 90 percent of visitors being domestic travelers that visit Athens mostly for medical reasons.

Data presented by GBR Consulting show that in January 2021, only 55 percent of Attica’s hotels were operating with occupancy rates reaching 11 percent and RevPAR (revenue per available room) at 8 euros against 42 euros in January 2020 – prior to the coronavirus outbreak in Europe.

Meanwhile, in 2020, the pandemic led to a revenue loss of 700 million euros for Attica’s hotels, with occupancy rates reaching only 19.7 percent based on the Total Room Inventory (TRI) methodology (TRI = paid rooms occupied / total number of rooms in a market).

“Making predictions for 2021 would be an absolute risk, as circumstances change and estimations are rather ominous. We would be a happy if we could ‘save’ the second semester of 2021, however all indications point to the opposite,” Vasilikos added.

Athens keeps guests satisfied

Photo source: Region of Attica

Although the ongoing uncertainty is puzzling the association’s executives, President Lambrini Karanasiou-Zoulovits believes that Athens’ strong brand and high satisfaction rates can contribute to the recovery of its tourism market.

“Athens has a strong brand name and offers a prime tourism product,” she said during the online event.

During the press conference, GBR’s “16th Survey on Guest Satisfaction and Hotel Performance in Attica 2020” was presented.

Conducted between August and September, the survey showed that the overall satisfaction score of Athens increased from 8.1/10 percent in 2019 to 8.2/10 percent last year.

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About the Author
Eleftheria has worked for several financial newspapers, magazines and websites during the past 19 years. Between 2004 and 2014 she worked as a radio producer, reporter and presenter for the Greek and English language program of “Athina 9.84 FM”. She also has hands-on experience in the MICE industry.

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