ECONOMY

Greek hotels improve their competitiveness

Compared to last year, online hotel prices in Greece as a whole in August are down 1.6 percent and in Athens 12.1 percent, according to the Trivago hotel search engine.

The listed data show that the average online price per overnight stay in a double room at a Greek hotel is down to 119 euros this month from 121 euros a year ago and 127 euros in 2009.

According to Trivago?s data, Greece is the 11th cheapest destination this month as regards accommodation among 24 countries. The cheapest hotel prices are to be found in Romania and Bulgaria, at 64 and 68 euros respectively, while the most expensive are in Switzerland and Norway, at 201 and 178 euros respectively. Neighboring Turkey is more expensive than Greece, with an average of 121 euros. An overnight stay in a simple double room in Europe this month costs 113 euros on average — the same as a year ago.

The average online price of Athenian hotels is 80 euros, from 91 euros last year. According to Trivago?s list, hotel prices in the capital have fallen gradually over the last five years — a strong indication of the serious problems in the city which have led to the closure of several hotels, including five-star units. This year?s average price is down 37 percent from 128 euros in 2008 — the best ever for Greek tourism.

Athens has the 11th lowest average hotel price among the 50 cities included in Trivago?s list. London has the highest average price, at 229 euros, followed by Edinburgh on 224 euros. The lowest two are Zaragoza at 52 euros and Sofia at 61 euros. The average in Istanbul is 117 euros, much higher than in Athens.

Two Greek hotels figure in the top 10 with the most impressive swimming pools, picked by www.trivago.gr on the basis of popularity and users? reviews: Katoikies in Santorini?s Oia and Cavo Taggo on Myconos. The other eight are in Thailand, the Maldives, Turkey, Indonesia, USA, Switzerland, Spain and Singapore. Another Greek hotel, Marni Village, in Koutouloufari on Crete, figures at the top of the list of Europe?s five best family hotels, according to www.trivago.co.uk.

Tripadvisor users also ranked three Greek beaches among the best 10 in Europe. Top of the list was the Shipwreck beach on Zakynthos, Lefkada?s Egremni was in fifth place, while Elafonisos of Crete came in seventh.