According to relevant surveys and estimations by industry stakeholders, Greek tourism is on course to break all records, with the first 3 months of 2024 posting unprecedented results in terms of room capacity of hotels and Airbnb, compared to the previous year.

The country’s main hotel chamber, the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, as well as regional hotel chambers, agree that preliminary data on bookings from international visitors are encouraging with arrivals at the Athens International Airport posting a 17% rise for January and February compared to the respective months in 2023.

According to industry sources, the highest increase in arrivals is recorded from the Netherlands (89%), Germany (77%), France (45%), Cyprus (44%), USA (29%), UK (13%), Italy (13%), Spain (11%), while the movement from Switzerland (-1%) and Israel (-9%) has decreased. The rise in movement is attributed to the dynamism of Athens as a city break destination.

The Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) notes that the average hotel occupancy rates in the country witnessed a new uptick in January and February this year compared to last year, with a similar trend observed in hotels in Athens. Specifically, the average occupancy rate in hotels across the country in January reached 41%, up from 38% in the same month last year, and in February it reached 46%, up from 43% last year.

Athens continues to be the European capital with the lowest “Average Daily Rate” (ADR) and consistently leads its competitors, who, despite achieving nearly equivalent occupancy rates during the same period, have much higher average daily rates and better revenue per available room (RevPAR). These affordable rates in Athens, accompanied by the mild winter in the Greek capital present the ideal combination for foreign visitors.

Notably, the average room rate in Athens in February 2024 stood at 92.58 euros, significantly lower than the rates in cities such as Istanbul (114.85 euros), Madrid (138.03 euros), Paris (279.98 euros), Barcelona (154.39 euros), Rome (162.57 euros), etc., cities which also record better revenue per available room (indicatively mentioned as 68.45 euros for Istanbul, 183.39 euros for Paris, 93.86 euros for Madrid, 103.13 euros for Barcelona, 88.93 euros for Rome, etc.).

As industry professionals point out the surge in bookings is unrelated to what is dubbed “revenge travel” – a term referring to a high desire by holidaymakers to travel post-Covid – but is shaping up to be a significant shift in consumer behavior, with travelers upgrading travel to one of their top priorities among other needs.


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