BUSINESS

Signs of fatigue in Athens tourism

STATHIS KOUSOUNIS

TAGS: Tourism

Tourism in Athens is showing signs of stagnation this summer, with the occupancy rate at hotels in the capital currently at very low levels.

Alexandros Vassilikos, the head of the Athens-Attica and Argosaronic Hoteliers Association, on Tuesday told an event titled “Six Years of Action for Athens” at the Acropolis Museum that the average occupancy rate at hotels in the city in the first half of 2016 posted a 1.8 percentage point drop year-on-year, sliding to 72.9 percent. Worse, the rate in June declined 2.5 percentage points to 91 percent.

Vassilikos, whose association organized the event, stated that “the first negative indications recorded after the spectacular rise in the period from 2013 to 2015 are warning us about the change in the hitherto favorable atmosphere for Athens tourism and are calling on us to take measures and collective action that must be scheduled in time to safeguard the tourism product.”

Tourism professionals attribute the stagnation to factors such as the migrant crisis, which has affected Greece’s image abroad, and the reduction in interest from long-haul travelers due to the country’s proximity to destinations with serious security problems.

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