Hoteliers in Athens expressed their disappointment with occupancy rates recorded in the first four months of the year which marked a 33.6 percent decline over the same period in pre-pandemic 2019, according to Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association (EXAAA) findings released this week.
More specifically, occupancy rates for the January-April 2022 period were down by 33.6 percent, revenues per room (RevPAR) dropped 36.3 percent, and average daily rate (ADR) decreased by 4.1 percent compared to the same four months in 2019.
According to the data, average room occupancy from January to April 2022 came to 44.9 percent with an average room rate of 85.08 euros and revenues per room at 38.2 euros.
Looking at rival cities – Rome, Barcelona, Madrid and Istanbul – occupancy levels and room rates were higher compared to Athens. More specifically, Rome saw occupancy reach 47 percent and ADR at 149 euros; Barcelona RevPAR reached 55 percent with an average daily rate of 124 euros; Madrid RevPAR reached 56 percent with ADR at 116 euros; and Istanbul saw occupancy levels reach 64 percent with ADR at 97 euros.
Average occupancy grew gradually in the first three months between 26.9 percent to 50 percent and by 65 percent in April, when Greece eased Covid measures. April performance was still down by 19 percent over the same month in 2019.
Athens hoteliers attribute the drop in revenues so far this year to limited occupancy levels in the first three months of the year. In terms of bookings, EXAAA said they were still low, conferences were still on hold, and alternative accommodation facilities such as Airbnbs were creating an over-supply of rooms.
Forecasts for the summer appear to be positive
Looking ahead, EXAAA said that “estimates and forecasts for the course of this summer tourist season truly appear to be positive, however, we remain moderately optimistic as it is too early for conclusions about the autumn and winter season ahead of us”.
The association goes on to stress that “Athens is one of the few, if not the only city in Europe, which has still failed to regulate illegal home sharing practices and still has no metropolitan conference center facility.”
Earlier this year, citing an Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts (ITEP) – Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (HCH) survey, Greece’s hoteliers said they were expecting turnover to reach pre-pandemic (2019) levels in 2023 or later.
According to the same study, average occupancy in Athens in the December 2021-April 2022 period came to 39 percent and 36.7 percent in the whole of Attica with room rates at 77 euros.