Empty beds lead to sharp drop in income for Athens hotels

A new batch of figures released yesterday on tourism showed the sector is reeling from the economic crisis despite efforts to attract visitors with lower prices. The Athens & Attica Hotel Association said five- and four-star hotels saw receipts dip by 22 and 18 percent respectively in the first nine months of 2009. Price discounts of around 10 percent were offered by the two categories in the January to September period but occupancy rates were 9 to 13 percent down, the group added. Earlier this week, the Bank of Greece said tourism receipts fell 13 percent to 7.5 billion euros in the first eight months of 2009.