ECONOMY

Greek capital 11th cheapest among 50 European cities this month

Athens is the sixth-cheapest European capital as regards tourist accommodation this month, according to data provided by the online hotel search engine Trivago.

The figures show that the average online price for a double room per overnight stay at Athenian hotels is now 3.7 percent less compared to a year ago, having dropped from 80 to 77 euros. This is the fifth-straight annual drop while the cumulative decline in accommodation rates in the Greek capital comes to 32.5 percent from 114 euros in August 2008.

The current average rate for Athens is the 11th lowest among those in 50 European cities listed by Trivago.

It appears that Athenian hoteliers have been forced to bring their rates down to rock bottom in order to deal with the crisis and bolster flagging demand. According to the Athens-Attica & Argosaronic Hotel Association, 48 hotels in the greater Athens area have closed down in the last four to five years. The agency is optimistic that demand will stabilize at last year’s levels and that a gradual recovery will begin as of 2014.

According to the latest data from the Civil Aviation Authority, the number of arrivals at Athens International Airport was down 5.2 percent in the first six months of the year, from 1.9 million in the same period last year to 1.8 million. Arrivals in June were down 1.8 percent but indications suggest the decline was greatly reversed in July and that arrivals in Greece as a whole are projected to reach a record 17 million in 2013. Bookings for August and September are up considerably, as Greece seems to have benefited from turbulence in Egypt, particularly as regards cruise tourism.

According to Trivago’s data, Edinburgh currently has the highest hotel rates among Trivago’s 50 listed cities, with the average overnight stay in a double room costing 224 euros. Geneva follows at 219 euros, Cannes at 194 euros, Venice at 191 euros and London at 188 euros. Zaragoza foots the list with 52 euros.

Civil Aviation Authority unions said on Tuesday they were suspending 24-hour rolling strikes they had announced for Friday to Sunday this weekend, after consultations with Transport Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis.