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Greece’s Winter Hotels Still Struggling to Increase Occupancy Levels

Hotel occupancy levels at winter destinations in Greece are at 60 percent and prices are higher for the holidays, said Hellenic Hoteliers Federation (POX) President Grigoris Tasios citing increasing costs and a shorter tourism season. 

In interview to public radio ERT, Tasios said Greek hoteliers, particularly at winter destinations, are still trying to make ends meet impacted not only by the Covid-19 pandemic, but also by increasing energy costs, a short tourism season and unregulated short-term rentals.

“Efforts are being made by the government and we are waiting for a response next week with regard to heating subsidies and other forms of heating for which would help,” he said.

Tasios went on to add that the country’s 1,300 winter season hotels have reached 60 percent occupancy levels for Christmas and New Year’s, which he said is basically three, three-day weekends. 

He said that Arcadia, Arahova, Ioannina, Magnesia, Pelion and Pozar Springs are reporting higher occupancy levels but cities such as Thessaloniki are seeing figures drop.

“We’re speaking about a seasonality of 15 days,” he said, noting that the short tourism period makes it challenging for hoteliers to cover expenses.

Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios.

Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios.

In efforts to extend the season at winter destinations, Tasios said POX was in talks with the ministries of education and tourism to establish a brief educational holiday period for students between Christmas and Easter, which would start from 2023. This would help boost hotel activity at remote winter desintations as well as in areas where there are theme parks and educational centers.

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