ECONOMY

City’s hotel occupancy rates up

Athens hotels attracted more guests in April than a year ago when the war in Iraq and the SARS outbreak kept travelers away, the Athens Hotel Association said yesterday. Three-star facilities posted the best performance, filling up more than 70 percent of their rooms, the association said. The upbeat figures compared with a 3.7 percent drop in occupancy rates in the first quarter when hotels in Istanbul attracted 14.3 percent more guests during the same period. Hotel rates rose by an average 12 percent in the first quarter against a 6 percent rise in Istanbul and a 43 percent hike in Madrid, hoteliers said, rebutting criticism that price hikes were turning tourists away. (Reuters)