Who Visits Athens: Study Identifies 10 Travel Persona Profiles
GBR Consulting, the leading hospitality and tourism consultancy in Greece, has identified the types of people that are attracted to Athens and have the destination on their travel agenda.
Having detected 10+1 traveler profiles (or tribes), GBR Consulting revealed findings during the recent presentation of the 18th survey on guest satisfaction and performance of hotels carried out by the Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association.
“The 2022 survey identified 10 specific profiles among 2,000 hotel guests in Athens,” GBR Consulting Managing Consultant Stefan Merkenhof said, adding that this year’s research revealed that some groups of visitors to Athens have common interests.
The 10 traveler tribes that visit Athens
The types of people that visit the Greek capital are:
1. antiquity/history lovers
2. art buffs
3. adventurers (activity lovers)
4. stopover travelers
5. night owls
8. sea & sun lovers
9. social travelers
10. business travelers
“These travelers have traveled to Athens with a specific interest in mind and planned their stay accordingly,” Merkenhof said.
The 11th profile: ‘laid-back’ travelers
However, he added that the research uncovered an eleventh profile from a large share (about a third) of leisure travelers who do not have a specific interest.
Referring to these travelers as “laid-back”, Merkenhof said these people have chosen a more relaxed approach to Athens, without the intention to visit as many sites as possible.
“These ‘laid-back travelers’ have limited contact with the locals and their way of life without this affecting their overall satisfaction of Athens,” Merkenhof said.
According to the survey, “laid-back travelers” last year were “very satisfied” with their stay in Athens, evaluating their overall experience in the city with a score of 8.4/10.
Which traveler tribe spends the most?
The survey found that “laid-back” travelers tend to spend less compared to other traveler profiles.
“It is clear that the other profiles spend more money, meaning that specific experiences provide them with the incentive to increase spending in the city,” Merkenhof said.
Those who spend the most are business travelers (180 euros daily), shoppers (166 euros), night owls (155 euros per day) and foodies (155 euros per day).
Sun & sea lovers spend around 150 euros, stopover travelers 140 euros, activity lovers 136 euros, art lovers 115 euros, social travelers 112 euros, antiquity lovers 111 euros and laid-back travelers spend around 106 euros.
Pointing out that business travelers spend the most in Athens, Merkenhof highlighted that the time has come for the metropolitan conference center in Athens, which “we’ve been talking about for the last 18 years”, to finally become a reality. It is noted that Athens’ lack of such a conference center is an issue that has been on the agenda of Greece’s professional congress organizers (PCOs) for many years.
Moreover, although stopover travelers stay only 1.6 nights, they make sure to visit the Acropolis site and museum. However, they do not have time to interact with the locals. According to the data, stopover travelers are also considered high spenders (140 euros per day).
An interesting finding in the survey was that despite Athens’ traveler tribes having different interests, almost all of them, including business travelers, had one thing in common: they all found the time to visit the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum and also took walks in the touristy neighborhoods Plaka and Monastiraki.
The Athens – Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association’s survey on guest satisfaction and performance of hotels took place for the second year with the collaboration of Athens International Airport (AIA). The survey’s aim is to provide tourism professionals and state officials with useful data on the special features of the city’s visitors in order to move towards the strategic development of destination Athens.
Other key findings of the survey:
– the United States was the top market last year for Athens International Airport
– the cultural experiences and entertainment/nightlife that Athens offers are among the main attributes for travelers when choosing the Greek capital as a tourism destination to visit
– seven out of 10 visitors to the capital stayed in a hotel last year
– awareness regarding Athens’ coastal area has improved, with 63 percent of the city’s tourists having visited the area last year
– 94 percent of visitors to the Greek capital visit archaeological sites and museums
– eight out of 10 foreign tourists mainly visit two specific museums: the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum.
– neighborhoods where tourists mainly flock to in the Greek capital are: Plaka, Monastiraki, Piraeus, Gazi, Thisio, Psyrri, Glyfada, Koukaki, Kolonaki and Mets.
– the cleanliness sentiment score in 2022 was the same as in 2021 (6.5/10)
– 22 percent of those surveyed consider that Athens was “above their expectations”, while 60 percent want to return in 2023.
Conclusion: Athens is a ‘must-see destination’
Overall, according to the survey, tourist satisfaction towards Athens’ tourism product in 2022 increased to a score of 8.4/10 from 8.1/10 in 2021 and 2019 leading to the conclusion that Athens is considered a “must-see destination” by its visitors.
The secretary general of the hotel association, Evgenios Vassilikos, highlighted the need for those involved with the tourism product of Athens and Attica to focus on the survey’s conclusions and to use them in combination with the useful data from the recent report on the city’s carrying capacity.
“Our goal must be to strengthen the quality image and offer of Athens to its visitors… Therefore, a long-term strategic plan is necessary,” he said.
As a long term repeat traveller to Athens and Greece, I am very glad that Athens is highly rated as a destination. Since the 1980s, I’ve visited over 50 times. Modernisation is healthy and essential. But above all else, do not lose the charm of the intimacy of a Greek welcome, play to your strengths as a nation whose ethos has always contained Filoxenia. Don’t become bland. Don’t become just another city on a bucket list tick box. Be successful for the sake of you all, but please – remain Greek!