ECONOMY

City hotels more than half empty

Athens hotels remained more than half empty in November, with luxury hotels’ occupancy taking a dive compared to the same month last year, according to data released by the Association of Attica Hoteliers. According to the data, the average occupancy rates of luxury hotels were 45.4 percent, compared to 51.2 percent in November 2002. Category A hotels’ occupancy rate increased marginally, to 55 percent from 54.5 percent, as did that of Category B hotels (45.3 percent from 44.7 percent). The average occupancy rate of Category C hotels was 41 percent, down from 41.1 percent. The hotel owners hope to have a very good 2004, thanks to the Athens Olympics. They also say that there is great demand from convention attendees. Yesterday, the Attica hotel owners met Tassos Homenidis, head of Hellenic Tourism Properties, to discuss the construction of a convention center on the premises of the former Athens airport at Hellenikon. When completed, the center will accommodate 8,000 participants. A hotel will also be built.