Hotel owners in Athens, Greece are optimistic about the upcoming tourist season, which was damaged in previous years by recession.
“In 2014 there are many opportunities for Athens to regain its former tourist glory, provided that political stability and social peace are maintained,” said the chairman of the Athens-Attica Hotel Association, Alexandros Vasilikos. Last year the increase in turnover of Athenian hotels was just below 10 percent, following a cumulative fall of over 35 percent since 2008.
According to data provided by the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (YPA) and published in “K” magazine, Athens saw a significant decline in international arrivals in 2013. The numbers point to a decline in foreign arrivals at Athens International Airport in 2013 of around 2 percent, from 4,131,230 in 2012 to 4,046,886 in 2013. Domestic arrivals also decreased by 4.6 percent from 2,308,442 in 2012 and 2,202,935 in 2013.
Vasilikos said that hotel prices in Athens have dropped significantly as a result of less demand, by both Greek and Cypriot tourists as well as from Germany, France and the U.K. The demise of a number of air connections played a major role in the decline in bookings. while from 2008 to 2012, the number of conferences and events held in Athens has declined, thus affecting hotel bookings.
From 2015 it is hoped that Athens will once again become a key destination for international conferences, helped by the competitive prices offered today by Athenian hoteliers, compared to other destinations.
The intention of airlines to increase the number of flights to the Greek capital is very promising for tourism in Athens, while interest by foreign investors in the domestic hotel market is also positive.