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Athens’ Hospitality Market Sees Investment Activity Picking Up

Investment activity in Athens’ hospitality industry is picking up pace with some 5,000 hotel rooms currently under construction in the Greek capital.

According to research conducted by GBR Consulting, approximately 2,500 hotel rooms are currently under construction in Athens with an additional 2,500 rooms expected to be created as part The Ellinikon mega-project on the Athenian Riviera.

Investment activity in Athens’ hospitality industry continued throughout 2021, despite the ongoing coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and global travel restrictions.

According to GBR Consulting, the number of five-star hotels in the central area of Athens increased by 17 percent in 2021 compared to 2020. The amount of four-star hotels rose by 7 percent, while two-star hotels increased by 3 percent.

Hotel rooms also rose by 4 percent in five-star units.  Four- and two-star hotels also saw more hotel rooms by 6 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

On an annual basis, the number of hotels in the Attica region increased by 2.6 percent in 2021 compared to 2020, and the number of rooms by 2.8 percent.

The data is included in the “17th Survey on Guest Satisfaction and Hotel Performance in Attica” that was recently released by the Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association in cooperation with GBR Consulting and Athens International Airport (AIA).

*Weighted on rooms available in Attica hotels of 5* – 3*, excluding the islands & Piraeus **2020 non-weighted Source: GBR Consulting

Occupancy rates increase but still below 2019 levels

The survey’s findings for 2021 also revealed that occupancy rates in Athens’ hotels increased compared to 2020 but remained significantly below the pre-pandemic 2019 levels.

It is reminded that only 50-55 percent of Athens hotels remained open during January – April 2021 due to the Covid-19 restrictions, with the number rising to 87 percent in June after Greece’s opening to tourism and gradually increasing to 100 percent by the end of the year.

Demand also picked up with occupancy rates reaching 47 percent in June; 68 percent in July and August; and 71 percent in September.

However, the emergence of the Omicron variant during winter severely affected the sector from November onwards with occupancy rates reaching 27 percent in January 2022.

Overall, in 2021, the total room inventory (TRI) reached 42.8 percent, which is up compared to 20.8 percent in 2020 but bellow the 77.5 percent of 2019 (standard methodology).

The average daily rate (ADR) reached 95 euros in 2021, from 72 euros in 2020 and 106 euros in 2019.

Source: GBR Consulting

Athens’ hotels score high for safety

Despite the challenging circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, hotels in Athens scored high for safety in 2021.

According to GBR’s survey, guests were satisfied by the safety measures adopted by Athens’ hotels and rated their stay with 8.7/10 points.

They also rated hotel infrastructure with 8.7 points the quality/price ratio with 8.5 points.

The overall satisfaction score of Athens reached 8.1/10 points in 2021 compared to 8.2 in 2020.

Photo source: Region of Attica

Greek and foreign travelers were attracted mainly by Athens’ archaeological sites and culture (46 percent). Thirty-five percent considered Athens a “must-see” destination, while 22 percent said the city was easily accessible.

For 20 percent of respondents Athens was a transit point.

In addition, 20 percent of travelers considered Athens a safe destination to visit amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the other hand, travelers rated Athens with 6.5 points for environmental pollution and cleanliness, and 6.1 points for noise pollution.

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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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