TOURISM

Five-star units’ full recovery

Top-tier hotels record last year total turnover just short of that in record year 2019

Five-star units’ full recovery

Greek tourism has secured an upgrade toward higher price and quality levels in its service and infrastructure amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a major survey by the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels on last year’s performance in the hospitality sector.

It also reveals the width of state support in the domain, as on average hoteliers said 40% of their funding needs was covered by the government’s measures against the effects of the pandemic.

The survey further found that hotel turnover last year was 35% down on that of record year 2019, as it reached 5.48 billion euros against €8.41 billion in 2019. However, the results are not the same for every category of hotels: The top end of the market – i.e. five-star units – recorded a turnover of €2.81 billion in 2021, against €3.07 billion in 2019; that means it was only down by 8.4% from the last year before the pandemic.

Market sources comment that were it not for the earlier closing of the season, with the onset of the Delta variant and the slightly later start owing to the previous wave of the pandemic, the season would have easily been better for five-star hotels: In the July-September period the top-tier units had on average higher figures than those in 2019.

On the other hand, the greatest pressure was on two-star hotels, which saw turnover squeezed by 63.1% from 2019, while the other categories saw a decline ranging from 45.8% to 49.2%.

Ahead of the new season, 36% of hoteliers say they have signed contracts for 2022, with the majority (70%) having the same rates as last year and 25% reporting an average increase of 7.1%. However, about 6% of hoteliers say they have slashed prices by an average rate of 17.8%. Striking a less optimistic note, most hoteliers expect turnover to revert to 2019 levels after this year: Almost a third (32.6%) see that happening in 2023, 27.2% do not see it before 2024 and only 14.8% anticipate that 2022 will match 2019 in revenue terms.

The survey was conducted for the Chamber by the Institute for Tourism Research and Forecasts.