The majority of Greek hoteliers are expecting turnover to reach pre-pandemic (2019) levels in 2023 or later, according to a recent survey released by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP).
The main findings of the survey showed that 32.6 percent of Greek hoteliers expect turnover to reach 2019 levels in 2023. A lower percentage – 27.2 percent – expect this to happen after 2024.
Only 14.8 percent of the hoteliers surveyed answered that they expect turnover to recover this year.
ITEP’s annual survey on the performance of Greek hotels for 2021 was presented to reporters during an online press conference on Monday by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH).
The survey showed that despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, almost all Greek hotels – 96 percent – opened their doors in 2021. The percentage was much lower – 60 percent – in 2020.
The majority of hotels – 78 percent – opened during May – July 2021 – in time for the start of the summer tourism season.
2021 turnover compared to 2019
In 2021, the turnover of year-round hotels reached 966.2 million euros, down by 57 percent compared to 2019.
Overall, the turnover of Greece’s hotels decreased by 35 percent to 5.48 billion euros in 2021 compared to 2019 (8.41 billion euros).
It is reminded that in 2020, turnover had reached only 1.83 billion euros, since many year-round hotels remained closed for several months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The survey’s key findings also include the following:
– Occupancy levels peaked in August 2021 and reached 67.9 percent on average, which is considered significantly high compared to August 2020 when occupancy levels were 27.7 percent, but lower compared to 2019 when occupancy levels were at 86.6 percent.
– Despite difficult circumstances Greek hotels maintained almost all jobs last year with only a 6 percent drop in employment compared to 2019.
– In 2021, Greece’s hotels covered approximately 40 percent of their funding needs on average through the Greek government’s support schemes.
– Advanced payments were 79 percent lower last year compared to 2019, which corresponds to a deficit of 590 million euros. Meanwhile, vouchers (given to customers for canceled bookings due to Covid-19) have cost hotels 50 million euros.
– Thirty six percent of hoteliers have already signed contracts for the tourism season of 2022. Seventy percent of them have signed contracts at the same prices as in 2021; 25 percent at increased prices (+7.1 percent on average); and 5 percent at lower prices (- 17.8 percent on average).
– The vast majority – 97 percent – of hotels on Greece’s mountainous regions opened during the Christmas holidays. The percentage of city hotels that remained open during the same period was at 77 percent. This means that one in four remained closed.
“It is clear that despite the difficult circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, Greek hotels continue to contribute to employment, investments, public revenue and regional development,” HCH President Alexandros Vassilikos said.
He noted however that despite the positive messages for the upcoming tourism season, ITEP’s key economic figures indicate the need for continuous state support, with targeted measures aimed at improving liquidity and supporting employment.
ITEP’s survey was conducted between November 22 – December 31, 2021, on a sample of 1,122 hospitality enterprises. Figures for the Christmas holiday season were gathered during November 29 – January 9.