Number of 5-star hotel rooms rises 31.4 percent in four years

By Stathis Kousounis

The number of rooms at five-star hotels in Greece rose by 31.4 percent from 2009 to 2013, according to a survey conducted by the Research Institute for Tourism of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels.

The comparison between the range of hotels in Greece today with that five years ago makes it clear that the country’s accommodation capacity is being constantly upgraded. The number of rooms at four-star hotels increased by 4.2 percent in the same period, while rooms at three-star units were augmented by 6.5 percent. On the other hand, two-star hotels saw the number of their available rooms shrink by 1.5 percent and one-star units had 2.8 percent fewer rooms to offer.

In total last year there were 9,677 legally operating hotels in Greece with 401,332 rooms and 773,445 beds. A remarkable one in seven of those rooms were at five-star hotels – i.e. 57,878 rooms with 117,555 beds in 361 hotels. Still, two-star hotels remain the dominant category, with 4,203 units, 119,157 rooms and 223,932 beds.

The survey found that the average size of Greek hotels has also been increasing steadily. In 1990 it amounted to 35 rooms per hotel, in 2009 40.1 rooms and last year it came to 41.4 rooms. Almost 43 percent of the country’s accommodation units are family hotels with a capacity of up to 20 rooms and only 8 percent are large hotels with over 100 rooms each. The majority of five-star hotels are large units (59.3 percent) and most one-star hotels (65.4 percent) are family enterprises with up to 20 rooms.

The majority of hotels are of the conventional type (6,249), followed by hotel units with furnished flats (2,697) and traditional guesthouses (731).

Growth has been recorded in the percentage of hotels that stay open throughout the year, amounting to 46.4 percent in 2013, up from 44 percent in 2009. Three-star hotels have the highest rate of year-round operation (55 percent), ahead of four-star hotels on 51 percent.

The survey also found that the upgrading of the country’s hotels also extends to services offered, particularly in the use of new technologies such as the presence of hotels on the Internet and the provision of web access to guests.