Hospitality and gastronomy are winning points with travelers making Athens a highly sought-after destination, according to findings released this week by INSETE, the research body of the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).
More specifically, according to INSETE’s quarterly report carried out jointly with GBR Consulting, Athens is increasing the number of beds and new hotels in order to meet the growing demand.
Visitors to the Greek capital cited the city’s gastronomy and hospitality as its strong points. Top source markets, according to INSETE, are the French and Italians.
The overall online reputation of both Greece and Athens is showing resilience with internet conversations focusing on culture, sea and sun despite the geopolitical instability and Covid-19 conditions, according to INSETE’s Sentiment Tracker Q1 Report for January-March 2022
Looking at visitor profiles, the INSETE study found that in pre-pandemic 2019, 82 percent of all visitors to Athens came for vacation while 67 percent of those who came for recreation visited other destinations. In the same record year, 76 percent said they came for the first time while 47 percent visited with their partner.
The number of scheduled seats on incoming international flights to Athens in 2020 dropped by 59 percent compared to 2019; rose by 38 percent over 2020 in 2021; and was up by 67 percent in 2022 compared to 2021, INSETE said.
In Q4 2021, travelers to Athens gave the Greek capital a score of 9.15 and Greece a score of 9.07 for the overall travel experience.
Meanwhile, international hotel brands are setting up shop in Athens to meet the growing demand. Indicatively, from 2016 to 2019, the Greek capital marked the largest increase in tourist traffic.
According to INSETE analysts, the increasing number of new hotels is a “vote of confidence” in the prospects of the destination.
Over the 2016-2020 period, accommodation options in Athens increased mainly in the historic center where the number of units was up by 19 percent and the number of rooms by 13 percent. In 4-star category, units were up by 62 percent and beds by 37 percent.