By Stathis Kousounis
The second wave of getaways this festive season, for the New Year’s Day and Epiphany holidays, will likely be smaller than at Christmas, as there is greater accommodation availability, according to hoteliers associations at a number of popular destinations around the country.
Over Christmas the occupancy rates at destinations close to Athens stood at satisfactory levels thanks to last-minute bookings, association chiefs tell Kathimerini.
– Arachova: For New Year’s, bookings currently point to 80 percent occupancy and for Epiphany to 70 percent, the president of the Arachova Hoteliers Association, Yiannis Georgakos, notes. He adds that the central Greek town on Mount Parnassos attracts tourists with its good infrastructure, renovated hotels, entertainment and traditional food. Christmastime occupancy came to 90 percent, with half of the bookings made at the last minute.
– Kalavryta: Accommodation owners at the resort near Patra are expecting last-minute bookings to see occupancy rise, as up to now it stands at just 70 percent for New Year’s, says the head of the local Hoteliers and Tourism Accommodation Owners Association, Dinos Dafalias. He adds that 60 percent of visitors choose to stay for just two nights.
– Pilio: There is great room availability in the mountain range near Volos, central Greece, with a price range of 40-100 euros per night, says Magnisia Hoteliers Association president Costas Leventis. For New Year’s, bookings at hotels in Makrynitsa, Portaria, Hania, Vyzitsa and Milies barely reach 70 percent, while in other Pilio areas they stand at below 50 percent.
– Karpenisi: The central Greece resort sees occupancy range of between 65 and 70 percent for New Year’s, according to the head of the Evrytania Hoteliers Association, Panayiotis Mantzoufas. Hotel turnover has slumped by 35 percent year-on-year due to the drop in prices, although at Christmas occupancy reached 90 percent.
– Pieria: The chief of the local hotel association, Afroditi Leina, says that half of the 2,000 hotel beds in the region of Mount Olympus have been booked for New Year’s by Bulgarians. These bookings have been made with the big units in the region, while the smaller ones, which are largely dependent on the Greek market, have seen fewer bookings.
– Ioannina-Metsovo: Hotels in the northwestern city of Ioannina have launched a major offers campaign, say slocal hoteliers association head Costas Vlachos, with average occupancy for New Year’s at the main hotels seen reaching 85 percent but only 55 percent at smaller ones. Nearby Metsovo also has an 85 percent rate.
– Florina: The northwestern town sees occupancy at just 50 percent for New Year’s and even lower for Epiphany, according to the head of the local hotel association, Michalis Parlamis, after a 100 percent rate at Christmastime.