Greek Hoteliers See Big Challenges Coming in 2023
Greek tourism may have seen more revenue than expected this season, but the country’s hoteliers still see lingering problems and expect to be up against challenges next year.
“Public revenues may be increasing but this does not mean that all of the sector’s problems have suddenly been solved,” Hellenic Hoteliers Federation President Grigoris Tasios said on Friday.
Speaking during the annual meeting of the presidents of Greece’s hotelier associations, held on the sidelines of the Philoxenia 2022 tourism exhibition in Thessaloniki, the federation’s president stressed that “the difficulties” have yet to pass.
“We are coming from two years of heavy losses due to the pandemic and today we are facing unprecedented challenges related to unimaginable energy prices and inflationary pressures that are skyrocketing our operating costs,” he said.
Tasios said that Greek tourism’s performance this year and the positive feedback received at the recent World Travel Market (WTM) in London surely boosts optimism for 2023. However, uncertainties remain, he said.
“When missiles are falling inside Europe, we realize that nothing can be taken for granted and at the same time European households are under pressure this winter to cope with their daily living needs,” he said.
Moreover, the federation’s president referred to the difficult situation that tourism businesses and hotels are up against this winter.
According to Tasios, hotels that are open all year round and units located in the country’s mountainous areas saw very low occupancy numbers during the first four months of the year and will now face “the big challenge” of winter operating costs.
“These costs can not be covered with bookings from a three-day weekend holiday (October 28) and for just two weeks during the Christmas season,” he noted.
Tasios also touched on the issue of short-term rentals and highlighted the need for the state to intervene and regulate that market.
“This issue is high on our agenda… As a country, we are far behind compared to other European countries and the phenomenon is growing with very negative consequences for the hospitality market but also for society itself,” he stressed.
Minister: Feedback for Greek tourism in 2023 is strong
Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, Greek Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias noted that 2023 will in fact be a year with many difficulties.
However, the minister said that the feedback he has received from international exhibitions about Greece is “very strong” for all of the country’s destinations.
“We managed, in a year of multiple crises, through tourism to support the professionals of the sector, the primary sector, restaurants and cafes, trade and construction as eight out of ten investments made in the country are tourism-related,” he said.
Kikilias further said that the ministry and the government in 2023 will be at the side of hoteliers and professionals to support them.
“Especially those professionals whose businesses are in mountainous areas of the country and are most affected by the energy crisis,” he said.
Revenue in Greece from tourism is expected in 2022 to surpass the amount made in 2019, which was a record year for the country.
According to the latest data of the Bank of Greece, during the first eight months of the year, revenue from tourism reached 12.75 billion euros. In August alone, the sector saw travel receipts reach four billion euros.
We found in Crete this year prices in the Taverna’s had gone up a lot and what was on the plate was reduced, we supported were we holiday during the “bad two years” cost us a lot of money for test kits. I have mobility problems and need Taxis a lot, sometimes just 800 yards into the village and the charge is eight euros not long ago it was four Euros we spent over £2000 in the three weeks we were there it getting too expensive. We have booked for next year but it my be out last visit to Crete, unless the euro goes to a very good rate, it will be a sad day when we do not go back but next year the holiday is £2456 for three weeks self catering then spending money, you can get all inclusive for that price in some Countries.