BUSINESS

Hotel rates shifting ‘like stocks’

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism

Hotel rooms are showing an average rate reduction of 25% this summer, according to the initial findings of a sample survey conducted by Kathimerini.

However, not all hoteliers are adopting the same policy as many, large and small, are offering significantly larger discounts, reaching up to 40%. Others are keeping their rates more or less unchanged from last year’s levels, but offer additional services and upgrades in room categories. What they all have in common, though, is that they are working in the dark, not knowing where the season will take them.

According to one major Athens hotelier contacted by Kathimerini, “prices this period are fluctuating as though they were stocks on the bourse.”

Greek hotel owners are trying to strike a balance between supply and demand in relation to the rates offered.

“I operate on a weekly price plan, because I have no other choice,” admits the head of one of the country’s top hotel groups in bed numbers.

The differing approaches to pricing policies by Greek hoteliers come down, to an extent, to the various sale channels at their disposal. Those able to address the market directly and with well-established relationships with their customers generally prefer to keep their rates unchanged and channel funds into advertising. In contrast, those who mainly rely on travel agents and tour operators tend to follow their clients’ offer policies in other international markets for their product to be sold abroad and become more attractive.

There are also some hoteliers who simply argue that prices may go down in one day but will take two to three years to be brought back up to pre-pandemic levels. This is another major fear for many Greek hoteliers, who are literally taking it one day at a time, seeking a new balance in the market with the dramatically reduced demand.

As demand this month appears particularly disappointing, even compared to the adjusted expectations in April and May, an increasing number of hoteliers are reconsidering the decision to open their units, if they have not already opened, or pondering a new shutdown. This includes hotels that only opened earlier this month.

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