Revenue losses from the spring lockdown sustained by hotels in Attica and Thessaloniki are estimated at 350 million euros for the first half of the year, when almost all hotels shut down simultaneously for the first time and stayed closed for several weeks. Even in June, when restrictions were lifted, only 21% of rooms were available for hire in Attica and 42% in Thessaloniki, according to a new report.
The survey by GBR Consulting for the Association of Hoteliers of Athens-Attica & Argosaronic and for the Association of Hoteliers of Thessaloniki showed that while in March 73% of hotel rooms in Attica were available, this rate dropped to just 5% in April and May.
Then in June, with just 21% of rooms available, the occupancy rate came to just 26%. Counting all Attica hotels, the overall occupancy rate stood at just 5% last month. This compared with a 93% rate a year earlier. The total loss of takings in the January-June period for the Attica hotels is estimated to have topped €300 million.
In Thessaloniki in northern Greece, the lockdown forced the closure of 96% of available rooms, against 29% that were also closed in March. Last month the Thessaloniki hotels that did operate (42% of the total) recorded an occupancy of 35%, against 79% last year. Overall, Thessaloniki hotels (including those that remained shut) had an occupancy rate of just 14% in June.
The irony is that in January and February hotels in Attica and Thessaloniki recorded significantly higher revenues than in the same period in 2019, mainly thanks to the rise in occupancy in the year’s first couple of months.
“We estimate that the entire 2020 is a year lost; this is the picture we currently have from the bookings and arrivals of tourists in Athens,” commented Lambrini Karanasiou Zoulovits, the president of the capital’s hotelier association. She added that “what we have been experiencing this year, especially in Athens, is unprecedented and exceeds any estimate anyone could have made about developments by early March.”
Her Thessaloniki counterpart, Andreas Mandrinos, went on to speak of an adverse outlook for the fall and winter too, calling on the state for additional support to keep the industry alive.