Greece continues being one of the most complicated regions in terms of tourism in Europe and first quarter of the year only proves this. During first three months of 2011 the volume of arrivals to the country decreased. However, this doesn’t make hoteliers pessimistic and they still expect recovery.
Hotels in Athens experience the decrease in international arrivals of 8.3%, while hotels in Thessaloniki feature a smaller figure – 4.9%. The reason for this may be in the negative image of both cities and in the fight of MICE activity. On the other hand, such decrease didn’t worsen RevPAR level. This makes hoteliers to expect strong performance in the second part of the year. According to the data provided by GBR, almost a half of hoteliers in Greece expect the growth of occupancy by 2%. Another 26% of hoteliers think the occupancy rate will finally stabilize. The owners of hotels in Thessaloniki are the least optimistic among all hoteliers of the country. They expect a slight rise in occupancy and consider a steep decrease in rates. Hotels in Athens may face a bigger rise in occupancy and, thus, no big decline in rates in expected here. The most positive about their business are the owners of Crete accommodations. They expect growth of occupancy without any change in rates. However, Crete hotels have a proof for their optimism. The recent report by the Travel Agents Association of Crete states that summer bookings for hotels in Crete are 2%-4% up from tourists from Western Europe and 3%-10% up from travellers from Eastern Europe. This is the result of the unrest in North Africa that makes people changing their holiday vacation destinations.