February 8, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Athens’ tourism boom

The capital’s tour operators have expressed reasonable expectations for an increase in tourist flow to Athens this year compared to 2020.

The second quarter of the year will determine to what extent the losses caused by the pandemic to the tourism business in the previous two years will be replenished. Achievement of 2019 indicators (6.5 million visitors to Athens) may seem particularly difficult task, but the President of the Association of Attic Hotel owners and argosaronicos, ξεε (ένωσης ξενοδόχων αργοσαρωνικού), Larmi Kararanasiu Guts, expresses his confidence that ” Athens hotels will be fully booked in 2022 and there is general optimism that the final numbers (revenues and arrivals) could approach 2019 levels.”

According to Vangelis Vlachos, managing director of a tourism development and promotion company in the municipality of Athens, the data at his disposal are very optimistic in terms of the forecast for the current tourism year. Athens and Greece in general is a safe destination that has been recognized internationally after the successful opening of tourism in 2020 and this fact will be a strong incentive to visit Greece this year.

At the same time, Vlachos explains, Athens is a destination that has been modernized and offers visitors plenty of opportunities. According to him, in 2022, according to a study by Αmerican Μastercard, the capital of Greece will become the number one trend for holding conferences here.

For the next period, the Athens municipality is preparing a new promotion campaign with a focus on the Athenian Riviera, which is expected to launch in March.

Airline summer programs for Athens start in the second quarter of the year

Speaking about the pivotal period of the second quarter of 2022, Athens International Airport CEO Yiannis Paraskis, speaking at a recent event of the Athens Attica and Argosaronikos Hotel Owners Association on the occasion of the presentation of a study on the satisfaction of foreign guests of the capital, emphasized that there are high hopes for this period, so like the airlines’ summer timetable, and everything connected with it comes into effect. This means an increase in tourist flow.

However, from the beginning of 2022 to date, passenger traffic in the AIA has been recorded at minus 45% compared to 2019. In any case, it is emphasized that our country, like the European south, suffered less than the north, and the forecasts for the coming months are very positive.

This year, according to the president of the association, Athens will welcome its guests not only with a modernized hotel product, but also with a 6% increase in the profile of hotels. It is estimated that 2,500 new places will be added to Athens this year as a result of the opening of new hotels.

In 2021, the growth in the number of 5-star hotels compared to 2020 was 17%: 4-star 7% and 2-star 3%. Moreover, in the future, and against the backdrop of plans to develop the former Elliniko airport, an additional 2,500 seats are expected to be created.

ΞΕΕ appeals to the competition committee for short-term rental housing

Meanwhile, ΞΕΕ president Alexandros Vassilikos announced a petition to the competition commission to ensure a level playing field for hotels and short-term rentals.

According to him, in Athens there is a phenomenon of new hotel enterprises that call themselves hotels without any control, etc. Speaking about the development of the situation this year, Mr. Vassilikos expressed his optimism for the future of Athens as a destination (special tourist destination), as evidenced by the significant investment interest.

12.3 million passengers in 2021 – 385% growth in the US market

According to available data, 12.3 million passengers arrived at the international airport in 2021, of which 7.7 million are foreigners. In fact, the increase in passenger traffic compared to 2022 is 52%, while the comparison with 2019 shows a 52% loss. It is noteworthy that 300,000 passengers arrived from America, and the growth compared to 2020 was 385%.

At the same time, the German market had 340,000 passengers and grew by 30%, the British 280,000 passengers and grew by 36%, the French 260,000 passengers and grew by 62%, the Italian had 170,000 passengers and grew by 78%.

54% of visitors to Athens in 2021 were couples

In terms of the tourism profile of visitors to Athens, hotels and rooms for rent traditionally hold the largest share in the hospitality sector, but in the last two years, resorts have been gaining an increasing share of the market.

54% of visitors to Athens in 2021 were couples, 21% were groups of friends and 17% traveled alone. In addition, 80% visited Athens for holidays, and 20% – to visit friends and relatives.

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