Occupancy levels at hotels in Athens increased by 31.3 percent in the first five months of the year compared to 2022 reaching 68.9 percent but were still down by 4 percent over the same period in pre-Covid 2019.
According to the latest data released by the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association (EXAAA) in cooperation with GBR Consulting, occupancy levels in May reached 88.5 percent up by 7.9 percent over 2022 (82,0 percent) and close to 2019 levels (88.2 percent).
Average daily rate (ADR), meanwhile, at Athens hotels in the January-May period increased by 19.5 percent over 2022 and by 21.4 percent compared to 2019.
Indicatively, a hotel room in Athens went for an average 117.36 euros up from 98.21 euros in the corresponding period in 2022 and from 96.70 euros in the first five months of 2019 boosted by May rates which came to 154.66 euros compared to 125.77 euros in 2022 (+23.0 percent) and 119.76 euros in 2019 (+29.1 percent).
According to hoteliers in the Greek capital, room rates in Athens are still lower than their competitor cities. Rooms in Istanbul cost on average 134.22 euros (up 66.8 percent over 2019), 142.11 euros in Madrid (+28.8 percent/2019), 164.20 euros in Barcelona (+22.4 percent/2019), 203.79 euros in Rome (+43.8 percent/2019), and 294.02 euros in Paris (+49.8 percent/2019).
Additionally, revenue per available room (RevPAR) in the first five months of 2023 – at 80.90 euros – continues to be below that of rival cities. Indicatively, in Barcelona RevPAR came to 121.51 euros, 139.39 euros in Rome, 214.05 euros in Paris.
Hoteliers call for solutions to lingering problems
Commenting on the performance of Athens’ hotels in the first five months of the year, the city’s hotel association expressed concern on the lingering issues of the Greek capital, the coastal front, the Argosaronic islands and the wider area of Attica.
The association called for the new government to help safeguard the destination so it can make a smooth transition towards a ‘healthy’ development model (in terms of quantity as well as quality) and to avoid “unpleasant surprises” next year.
“The forecasts show Athens as a very strong ‘player’ in the European and international tourism scene for the next few years… However, what is required is for Athens as Greece’s capital city functions properly and as a 12-month tourist destination (for tourists, business travel, cruise, etc.) with what this requires or entails,” the association said.
Among other things, the hotel association called for solutions concerning the legal framework around the short-term rental market as well as the need to improve the city’s tourism infrastructure (such as the creation of a metropolitan conference center).
“A long-term strategy for the destination that will cover the following decades must be drawn up,” the association said.