Hotel occupancy rates in Athens were very close to 2019 levels, the last season before the Covid-19 pandemic in June and July, but with significantly higher prices, according to data released by the Athens, Attica and Argosaronic hoteliers’ association.
The occupancy rate in June 2022 was 90.6%, slightly less than the 92.8% posted in June 2019. And, in July, the rate was 89.3% versus 89.8% in 2019.
The average cost of an overnight stay was €147.64 in June, 17.5% higher than in June 2019, and dropped slightly in July to €144.49, 19.4% higher than in July 2019. The average price per room per day over the first seven months of 2022 was €117.68, 11.3% over 2019 levels. Lower early-year levels are explained by the fact it was off-peak season, but also by the fact that pandemic restrictions were still in place.
Among its nine top European competitors Athens is fifth in hotel occupancy behind Barcelona, London, Paris and Istanbul. And its prices are very competitive since it is ninth (second cheapest) on the list. Paris has the highest average room price, €285.30, followed by London (€203.20). Istanbul has slightly higher prices than Athens (€120.60).
The local hotel owners’ association says it is waiting for the data covering August-October to have a full picture of how the year went. But, apart from expressing worries about the winter season, because of the energy crisis, it also notes that Athens, a year-round city destination, shows clear sign of being a seasonal destination, with no more than six to seven months of high activity. Besides the international competition, the association is focusing on what it calls “illicit competition” for short-term apartment rentals. Demand for the latter is booming, exceeding 2019 levels by 26.5%, Tourism Minister Vassilis Kikilias said Wednesday.