Greek tourism is “looking” for a strong finish that will confirm a very good year taking into account the covid pandemic. After the very good August that in the whole country seems to have reached capacity at the level of 80%, what Greek tourism is now looking for to lock the goal of “50%” (tourism revenue 2021, as a percentage of tourism revenue in 2019 ) is for the “tail” of the tourist season to go well in the summer destinations and to record a satisfactory interest for Athens in the two months of September and October, two months that are historically “high season” for the capital.
These are the two areas in which the country’s tourism industry is focusing its attention in the near future in order to have a definitively good season for this year, always under the condition that we will not have an outbreak of the pan-European pandemic in Greece as well.
Who is staying open until November
For Athens as a destination, hoteliers can not do much as the vast majority of bookings are via the Internet and almost last minute. For the summer tourist destinations, however, what the hotel sector does is with offers to “fill the gaps” of the next days in an effort to maintain the highest possible occupancy until the end of September and October. Crete, Rhodes, Kos are destinations that remain “open” until almost November.
This year, as estimated by market players, September and October may be “strong” months, given the vaccinations in a number of EU countries, such as the Netherlands and opens the way for more citizens to travel. It is estimated that those who are more in the mood for travel are the vaccinated citizens of EU countries and this, unless there is something particularly worrying about the course of the pandemic, will be expressed in the next two months.
September is dynamic
It is pointed out that September so far remains dynamic as the occupancy of hotels in popular destinations remains at the level of 80% of 2019, while in Athens any forecast is risky as the market of the capital does not work with tour operators. At the moment the occupancy in some units is at the level of 50% however it is difficult to predict what will happen in the coming weeks. However, as is competently clarified, there are also units that are a category in themselves, such as e.g. Asteras Vouliagmenis where the fullness is at very high levels.
What hotel agents also monitor on a daily basis is the course of the pandemic. Although they note that European governments have significantly eased measures, especially for those vaccinated, they continue to fear an outbreak of the pandemic that will force them to tighten restrictive measures.
However, the returns of Greek tourism so far are considered very satisfactory.
According to Fraport data from the 14 airports it controls, international arrivals in August of this year came to 80% of the arrivals of August 2019 which means that on an annual basis at the 14 airports arrivals are now over 50% of 2019 .
If September and October move in tune with August (-20% compared to the same months in 2019) then the air passenger traffic will reach 60% of that of 2019. Among the popular destinations that stand out in August is Santorini which also this month as in July had more passengers (+ 6%) than in August 2019, while Mykonos did very well (-10% compared to August 2019) compared to the other islands.
In hotels, according to the latest data of the weekly survey of ITEP for the period 16-22 August, the average occupancy of hotels operating continuously was 71% and the average occupancy of seasonal hotels was 83%. Also the average price of a double room of a continuously operating hotel was € 81 while the average price of a double room of a seasonal hotel was €126 with the total average price being €114. However, the highest price achieved by the hotels according to the ITEP survey was €120 between 2-8 August.
So, given that this year the travel expenses per trip are higher and the total income for our country from such will be higher for the same number of arrivals compared to 2019.
In particular, according to the data of the Bank of Greece concerning June, the average expenditure per trip amounted to €631.2 compared to €557.5 in the same period in 2019, recording an increase of 13.21%. Also, especially in June this year, the average cost per trip was €728.7 compared to€ 607.4 in June 2019, marking an increase of 19.97%.
This increase is confirmed by international studies. The prices of hotels, mainly luxury and five-star hotels, increased this summer in popular Mediterranean destinations, according to a study by Spanish Mabrian Technologies which was conducted in more than 73,000 hotels.
Greece is, by far, the Mediterranean destination that has recorded the largest increase – + 31% for four-star hotels and + 47% for five-star hotels. Turkey is a country with the smallest increases while it also records a drop (- 4%) in three star hotels.