ECONOMY

Hotels see less business

The occupancy rate for Attica hotels this year is likely to show a 3-4 percent drop despite the loss of 1,500 beds due to the closing of three major hotels in the capital, the Attica Hotel Association warned yesterday. Lower occupancy rates for all categories of hotels, with the exception of luxury hotels, in the January to October period showed clear indications of the projected decline, said Giorgos Tsakiris, newly elected president of the association. October figures were no better. While luxury hotels, category C and E hotels reported slightly higher occupancy rates, other segments showed either flat or lower growth. Tsakiris called on the government to implement a multilevel and coordinated marketing program to promote Athens as a city break destination. «Advertising relating to Athens is muddled,» he said. One example of this is the Greek National Tourist Organization’s inability to come up with the funds for a marketing campaign for the capital, despite an offer of 1.5 million euros from the Attica Region for the program. Separately, research firm JBR Hellas-Horwath said Greek hotels lagged behind their European counterparts in gross operating profit due to below-average room rates and high labor costs. Gross operating profits for Greek hotels range from 20 to 30 percent against more than 30 percent for European hotels. In contrast, labor costs as a percentage of revenues stand at 39-40 percent compared with 31 percent on a pan-European level and 28 percent for luxury hotels. Average room rates for Greek hotels at 73 euros are significantly lower than their European counterparts at 97 euros. The study also showed Greek hotels’ heavy dependence on major tour operators for filling their rooms, with 45 percent of their clients coming from these bodies as against 31 percent in Europe.