Athens, a top destination, falls short compared to European cities due to internal issues, revealed in 2023 hotel data at the 53rd Annual Hellenic Chamber of Hotels Assembly. Occupancy trended similarly to 2019, with a 2% dip in November 2023 compared to 2019 amidst higher demand. Room prices surged, increasing Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR) by 27% compared to 2019. While Athens held good occupancy against Mediterranean rivals, namely Istanbul and Madrid, it remained cheaper than Barcelona and Rome.
Compared to 2019, all these cities experienced lower occupancy levels in 2023 but significantly higher room prices:
Istanbul witnessed a decrease in occupancy comparing 2023 to 2022/YTD October but with a 9% Average Daily Rate (ADR) increase.
Rome surpassed all Mediterranean competitive cities with a 22% ADR increase in 2023 compared to 2022 and 61% compared to 2019, mainly due to international ‘luxury brands.’
Barcelona and Madrid experienced moderate increases in both occupancy and ADR.
Attica witnessed a rise in hotels, especially 4 and 5-star ones, totaling 697 units. The 5-star hotels showed strong ties to local, national, or international chains, with high visitor satisfaction at 8.8 out of 10.
Short-term rentals, starting from scratch in 2009/2010, now surpass 14,000 active units, challenging the hotel industry and necessitating regulation.
Athens boasts attractions but faces location-based issues. To address weaknesses, proposals include forming a unified body for enhancement and marketing Athens and its islands as a single destination, a move backed by the Tourism Minister. The goal is to better represent the city’s entirety and heritage to a global audience.
During the 53rd General Assembly of the Athens-Attica and Argosaronic Hoteliers Association, Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni emphasized the significant contribution of providing high-quality hospitality services, positioning Athens and Attica among the most dynamic international destinations.
A specific focus of Kefalogianni’s address was on the government’s initiatives concerning the framework for short-term rental operations. She announced forthcoming regulations aimed at setting minimum operational and technical standards.
She noted the Ministry of Tourism’s intensive efforts to lay strong foundations for the future of Greek tourism focusing on sustainability, guided by moderation, balance, and the preservation and protection of the natural and cultural environment.