ECONOMY

Athens hotels see demand flag

athens-hotels-see-demand-flag

The constant increase in Attica’s hotel room supply combined with the drop-off in the soaring growth in demand and the market entry of thousands of apartments for short-term lets have already started to drive occupancy rates and room prices at the capital’s hotels toward a decline.

The current prospects for both supply and demand are pointing to a further gap in the near future.

From 2015 to the end of 2018 more than 1,500 new hotel rooms were added in the center of Athens and another 500 in the rest of Attica, according to the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels’ Research Institute for Tourism.

At the same time the number of apartments in Athens offered for rent on online platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway soared from a few hundred to 12,300, according to AirDNA, a company that specializes in processing data from short-term leasing websites.

Furthermore, in 2019 and the coming years some 3,500 hotel rooms are expected to be added to Attica’s capacity when taking into account units under renovation (Esperia Palace, Kings Palace), the metropolitan hotels under development (such as La Mirage, Kanigos 21, Asteria Glyfadas etc), the Elliniko development’s 2,000 rooms and the 650 rooms Cosco is planning for three units in Piraeus.

Now Athens-Attica and Argosaronic Hotel Association president Lambrini Karanasiou-Zoulovits is sending a warning with the January data she has published, which point to an 8.7 percent decline in hotel occupancy rates and a 10.1 percent drop in revenues per available room.

According to the association, “what is even more impressive is that Athens is showing the biggest drop in occupancy rates and in revenues per room among its competitors.”

Its president told Kathimerini that “in a city which has not yet sufficiently resolved the problems of infrastructure, security, cleanliness and even lighting, the return of visitors in the coming years should not be taken for granted.”