2005 is recording a slight increase in Hotel Occupancy Rates but a drop in RevPAR, of our sample of hotels in Athens for the first nine months of 2005 compared to the same period in 2004.
However the sample of MKG for Athens shows that for the first 9 months of 2005 the OR was higher by 2.2 points compared to 2004 (63.6% vs 61.4%). The hotels included in the 4* category record a lower OR in 2005 while the 5* hotels show better figures compared to 2004 and compensate for the negative figures registered by 4* hotels, resulting in a 2.2 point overall increase. The only month of 2005 when the 5* hotels included in the sample had a decrease in OR was the month of August and that is explained by the excellent records during the Olympic Games that took place in 2004.
Indeed the year 2004 was an exceptional one for Athens as it was the year during which it hosted the Olympic Games. The city’s hotel industry was booming with some exceptional figures being recorded in both the occupancy and the revenues. For instance, while the month of August has traditionally been the lowest month in terms of occupancy and revenues for hotels in Athens, in 2004 the city produced amazing figures during this month. The sample of MKG shows that for 2004, August’s occupancy had reached to 85% with the 4* hotels recording an 87% and the 5* hotels recording an OR of 84.7%.
A more detailed analysis in our sample reveals that while the OR for the 4* hotels for the first nine months for 2004 and 2005 was 68.4% and 61.9% respectively, the 5* hotels recorded 59.4% for 2004 and 64.5% for 2005. The ADR decrease of 26.7% during the first nine months of 2005 compared with the same period in 2004 is due to the increase in prices the city operated during the Olympic Games. Both the 4* and 5* hotels registered a decrease in their ADR with the 4* registering a drop of 31.4% and the 5* a decrease of 23.6%.
Overall the RevPAR for the first nine months of 2005 decreases by 24%. The 4* hotels show the biggest drop in RevPAR registering 37.9% less in 2005 while the 5* witness a smaller decrease that stood at 17.1%, compared to the first 9 months of 2004.
The city of Athens registered a slight increase (2.2 points) in OR during the first nine months of 2005
In times when Greece as a destination is gaining more and more recognition - a year during which the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) was awarded the prize of Europe’s Leading Tourist & Convention Bureau from the World Travel Awards of the UK -, the capital city Athens reflects a picture of a country that is actually struggling for good performance.
The Olympic Games and all the infrastructure that was invested in did help to a certain degree but unless a more synchronized and well-planned effort is put together, the future for Athens hotels does not look so bright.
Important events like the 41st European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) congress, held in Athens, between the 10th and the 15th of September 2005, help hoteliers catch up with the desired figures.
This particular event had 12,000 delegates and similar ones are more than welcomed by the city’s hotels. September was the best month for the 9-month period in 2005 in regards to OR. While the year-to-date Occ. Rate for the first 9 months of the year 2005 stood at just 63.6%, the month of September witnessed high figures: 84.1% in the 4* hotels, 84.5% in the 5* hotels.
A convention centre is maybe what is needed in order for a new dynamism to appear in the city generating more clientele? Hotel owners and operators seem to keep a retained optimism as far as to the results that 2006 might bring. Athens is very vulnerable to surrounding markets and one thing is for sure: the 2004 Olympic Games did not benefit the city to the degree that everyone had expected to. It is in the hands of the local authorities to make the most of the infrastructure that currently exists in the city and to find ways and means to strengthen even more the city’s dynamism in the hospitality sector.
MKG Worldwide is well established in Europe for the past two decades now and through its subsidiary,
MKG Travel Research, it is further developing its consulting and research activities within the hospitality, catering and tourism industry in the Mediterranean and Balkan Regions, as well as in the Middle East countries.