Greek resort sector recovering

A new report on the Greek hotel market by GBR Consulting shows that while the resorts are improving, problems remain for hotels in the major cities of Athens and Thessaloniki.

In the second quarter RevPAR in Greek resorts was up 11.2% year-on-year with a seasonally adjusted occupancy rate of 61%. GBR Consulting said the bump came from travelers eschewing resorts in politically unstable North Africa for Greece and a widespread lowering of rates so Turkish resorts were less competitive price-wise.

“Lowering the rate helped RevPAR because it increased occupancy,” said Aris Ikkos, managing partner at GBR.

Athens hotels saw a 3% year-on-year downturn in international arrivals during the second quarter, but saw a 2.9% increase in RevPAR due to a 700 room decrease in supply. Average occupancy was actually up 6% year-on-year to 62%.

“When it comes to Athens, Athens suffers very much from lack of destination management and because of the economic problems in the country and the demonstrations and other unrest,” Ikkos said.

Meanwhile, Thessaloniki hotels, primarily used for business conferences and conventions are suffering under the weight of Greece’s bad economy. The study found RevPAR in Thessaloniki was -4.1% year-on-year during the second quarter.

The study also found that 5-star Greek hoteliers were the most optimistic about their business prospects for the rest of the year, while 3-star hoteliers were the most pessimistic.