Very close to the levels of the pre-pandemic year of 2019, this September moved for Athens hotels, with the average occupancy, the average room price and the average revenue per room moving upwards. Boosted by the recovery of conference tourism, in the first month of Autumn the capital managed to stand out from other European destinations at least in terms of average price.
In particular, according to the monthly data “Hotel Traffic and Performance” compiled and published by Sixteen in collaboration with GBR ConsultingSeptember closed with average occupancy of 93.7%0.7% higher than September 2022’s performance and 1.1% lower than September 2019. Traditionally September also performed better than August 2023, where occupancy reached 81, 5% lagging by 3.4% from the golden year of 2019.
The room rate is on the rise
The average room rate (ADR) followed an even better course in the same month, reaching 171.35 euros compared to 143.94 euros in September 2022 – an increase of 19% – and 123.67 euros in September 2019 – an increase of the order of 38.6%.
The revenue per available room (RevPar) reached 160.48 euros, moving again 19.9% higher than September 2022 (133.89 euros) and 37% higher than September 2019 (117.13 euros).
Given the rise, Athens managed to reverse the lag observed in all previous months against other European cities. With an average price of 171.35 euros, it moved higher than Madrid, where the average room price reached 161.32 euros, from Istanbul, where the average price reached 151.43 euros, but also from Berlin and Vienna, cities with an average room rate at 149.41 euros and 152.18 euros respectively. Of course, in relation to other popular destinations, such as Rome, Paris and London, it continued to lag significantly, since the average price there touched or even exceeded 300 euros.
The good performance of the first autumn month also boosted the nine-month results. From January to September the average room price in Athens reached 142.19 euros – from 137.76 euros which was the average price in the eight months – while the Revenue per available room (RevPar) reached 110.91 euros – from 104.79 euros which was in the eighth month of this year.
Of course, at the level of nine months, the lag against the competitors remained, with the popular European cities recording much higher prices, e.g. 175.58 euros (Barcelona), 237.84 euros (Rome), 333.08 euros (Paris), 148.11 euros (Istanbul) and so on.
At the average occupancy level in the 9 months January – September 2023, it reached 78% for Athens hotels, marking a decrease of (-)2.4% compared to 2019, despite a positive change of 14% compared to the corresponding period of 2022.
The aforementioned good performance is based, according to the Union of Athens, Attica and Argosaronicos, on the recovery of conference tourism. However, given the performance of Athens hotels and the arrivals of the country’s largest airport, which in September far exceeded the performance of 2019, again lead to the conclusion that much of the passenger traffic was directed to short-term rental accommodation.
Hotels – in these conditions – are unable to ‘unfold’ to the extent that they could, despite the excellent level of upgraded hotel units and chains, despite new significant investments, despite the high quality of services provided to the customer and despite the dynamics of demand for the Greek capital. The organized State and with it the Local Self-Government, must now guard the touristic identity and quality that the destination has painstakingly acquired, as well as the special relationship between Athens and its visitors – at every level. At the same time, it would be appropriate to raise the bar of our expectations and demands from our city in matters of quality of life and safety of citizens and visitors, cleanliness, sustainability, infrastructure, etc. as we are experiencing times of significant geopolitical, economic and also climatic changes and rearrangements”.