ECONOMY

Decline in hotel rates reverses

The average online hotel rate for an overnight stay in a double room in Greece is 10 percent higher this month than a year ago, despite the average January-July rate being 4.1 percent lower, according to data by hotel search engine Trivago.

A strong rebound in foreign demand for Greek hotel accommodation appears to have pushed the rate to pre-recession levels, at 131 euros, compared to 119 last year. According to Trivago, this is the highest rate in the last three years. The average rate also rose in July and August after declining for 21 months in succession. Nevertheless, Athens is the sixth-cheapest European capital in terms of hotel accommodation this month, and the 11th cheapest among 50 European cities compared by Trivago.

The average rate for the first eight months of the year at Greek hotels is 89.20 euros, compared to 93.10 euros for the same period of 2012.

The highest online rate on average for an overnight stay in a double room in Trivago’s list in Europe is at Swiss hotels (190 euros), followed by those of Norway (162 euros) and Denmark (156 euros). The cheapest are in Romania (60 euros), Poland (65 euros) and Bulgaria (66 euros).

In a related development, Greek hoteliers are reported to have obtained reasonable rises in the contracts they have signed with foreign tour operators for 2014, partly offsetting the losses of previous years. In some cases, owners who have modernized their hotels or are offering new services have even observed double-digit increases.

On the whole, the initial indications from foreign tour operators for next year are encouraging. UK-based Cosmos Holidays has added new destinations and family-friendly hotels in Greece for 2014. These include weekly flights from Birmingham to Preveza, Anghialos, Skiathos and Cephalonia, from Manchester to Corfu, Skiathos and Zakynthos, and from Gatwick to Rhodes.